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Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 10 March 1992

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what steps the Government are taking to ensure that bananas are removed from the GATT Uruguay round of negotiations;

(2) how commitments under the Lomé convention towards African, Caribbean and Pacific banana suppliers would be honoured under a GATT agreement based on the Dunkel text of 20 December.

The European Commission has made no proposals on bananas in the GATT Round context. It is continuing to study the question. Tariffication, if it simply followed the method set out in the Dunkel paper as we understand it, would not appear to provide sufficient protection for traditional ACP suppliers of the United Kingdom market. We remain committed to fulfilling our obligations under the Lome convention and to bringing the GATT round to an early and successful conclusion; the Government have made representations to the Commission to urge it to ensure that our Lome commitments are not overlooked in the GATT negotiations.