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Long Leys

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact on long leys systems of farming of the European Commission's mid-term review proposals. [109845]

We have been pressing the European Commission to introduce sufficient flexibility within the rules of the proposed decoupled system to allow such systems of farming to continue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to press in the Council of Ministers for an exception to be made from the European Commission's definition of permanent pasture to benefit farmers who operate a system of long leys. [109846]

We have been pressing the European Commission to allow a greater degree of flexibility in their definition of permanent pasture to ensure that such farmers are not disadvantaged. The Commission appear sympathetic to the issue and we are working with them on a solution.