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Common Agricultural Policy

Volume 201: debated on Tuesday 14 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimates he has made of the likely effects on Welsh sheep producers of the MacSharry proposals to reform the common agricultural policy; and if he will make a statement.

The European Commission's CAP reform proposals would, if implemented as they stand, discriminate against producers in Wales. The proposed headage limits for the sheep annual premium would affect 15 per cent. of sheep in Wales compared with 3 per cent. in the European Community as a whole. I welcome the Commission's acceptance that reform is necessary but this must be on the basis of non-discrimination, budget discipline, control of surpluses and policies which are sensitive to the environment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next expects to meet Mr. MacSharry, the EC Agricultural Commissioner, to discuss reform of the common agricultural policy and its effects on Welsh farming; and if he will make a statement.

I met Commissioner MacSharry on 22 November when I explained very clearly how the Commission's CAP reform proposals would discriminate against producers in Wales. Mr. MacSharry fully understands my view of the impact of the Commission's proposals.