I regret that we have to accept the principle of the skimmed milk Document. The NFU has a very good case for not accepting it. The relevant points are contained in the last two paragraphs of the NFU brief saying:
For the foregoing reasons, the NFU believes that the scheme is both ill-conceived, and ill-prepared and should have been abandoned and that any future extensions of the scheme must be resisted by the Minister. … In the view of the NFU the only practical alternative is to make SMP available at a cost which would make its use financially attractive compared with other proteins.
It has been said that we are making heavy weather of the issue before us tonight, that the price increase will be approximately 7½p per cwt, or £1·50 per tonne. That is a small amount, and in view of the excellent package that the Minister brought back from Brussels, the less we say tonight the better. Nevertheless, I support the amendment.