To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the Brussels Agriculture Council held on 21 and 22 May.
I represented the United Kingdom at this meeting.I drew attention to the need for the Community to prepare for the agricultural consequences of German monetary union on 2 July and of German unification thereafter. The Commission undertook to make proposals as appropriate and to put forward a report for the next meeting of the Council.At my suggestion, it was agreed that the potential consequences for agriculture of the draft proposal to protect water from nitrate pollution currently before the Environment Council should be assessed and reported on by agricultural experts. This will help the Environment Council to reach informed decisions on this matter.On foot and mouth disease a large majority of member states indicated that they were now prepared to harmonise controls on the basis of a slaughter policy, as currently applied in the United Kingdom, rather than a vaccination policy, as currently applied in most continental member states. This represents a significant step towards resolving satisfactorily one potentially difficult problem posed by the single European market.