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Surplus Butter

Volume 124: debated on Monday 7 December 1987

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To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her reply of 1 December, if she will place in the Library or otherwise identify the financial rules which led the Commission of the European Economic Community to the view that the declaration of the European Court of Auditors on the legality of the transfer of responsibilities for the cost of the subsidised export of butter surplus to member states could be set aside; and if she will make a statement.

In its opinion, the Court of Auditors expressed the view that deferred reimbursement for the programme of butter stock disposal conflicted with the principal of the annuality of the budget, as laid down in article 199 of the treaty and articles 4 and 5 of the financial regulation. The Commission explained its reasons for considering that there was no breach of this principle in its report to the Council of 15 June 1987 on the financial impact of this measure on Spain and Portugal (document 7124/87). A copy of this document is in the Library of the House.