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New Zealand

Volume 116: debated on Tuesday 12 May 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the Government's policy on the import of agricultural produce from New Zealand.

[pursuant to his reply, 8 May 1987, c. 563] I assume my hon. Friend is referring to imports of butter from New Zealand on special terms.These arrangements derive from Protocol 18 of the United Kingdom Act of Accession to the European Community and from the declaration by Community Heads of Government in March 1975, although the quantities and detailed conditions fall to be determined periodically by the Council of Ministers. The Government support their continuation, because of the importance to New Zealand's economy of access for butter to the United Kingdom market.The quantity of butter which may be imported under these special arrangements has been progressively reduced from the initial quantity of 166,000 tonnes set in 1973 to 76,500 tonnes this year. It will be further reduced to 74,000 tonnes in 1988.