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Fisheries: Trade Competitiveness

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the fuel subsidy given by Spain to its fishing industry on the competitiveness of the British fleet. (203201)

[holding answer given 1 May 2008]: European Union (EU) state aid rules designed to prevent distortion to competition do not require the EU Commission clearance of an aid scheme or schemes which cumulatively pay less than £30,000 per recipient over three years. I understand that the Spanish Government are paying aid to its fishing fleet at a level below this “de minimis” limit and hence, no assessment has been made.