Can the Minister say why these talks have had to be held at all, in view of the Prime Minister's assurance that the position of the British farmer would be in no way prejudiced by the Irish Trade Agreement—or is it that the right hon. Gentleman has found himself a victim of yet another misleading statement by his right hon. Friend?
I am certain that the hon. Gentleman knows full well why I initiated talks. I was worried about the impact of Irish products on our market, and the lack of phasing. I felt that it was right that I should see also that the Irish Government did not put on an export subsidy, as they did last year. That is why we have been having talks. I think that that is sensible.
Because of the present economic situation, has the right hon. Gentleman made any suggestion for a reduction in the £10 million which is annually borne by the United Kingdom taxpayer for the benefit of Eire agriculture?
I do not think that we should cancel it. It is mutually advantageous to have the Agreement. It is good for our industry. We want Irish stores, and I have asked for them. I am glad to say that the figure has shown an improvement this year.