Common Agricultural Policy

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th February 1988.

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Photo of Mr Ieuan Wyn Jones Mr Ieuan Wyn Jones , Ynys Môn 12:00 am, 29th February 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the implications for the Welsh farming industry of the decisions of the European Community Brussels summit regarding reform of the common agricultural policy.

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

The stabiliser arrangements will have an impact on future trends in agriculture, but the impact on Welsh agriculture will be particularly affected by future negotiations.

Photo of Mr Ieuan Wyn Jones Mr Ieuan Wyn Jones , Ynys Môn

Is the Secretary of State aware of the considerable anxiety in Wales as a result of the recent Brussels agreement, particularly about the effect of stabilisers on the sheep sector? Will the Secretary of State now make it clear that he will not just consider representing, but will represent, the interests of our farmers in any future talks in Brussels, so that we can ensure that the sheepmeat regime is kept intact? Will he further agree with me that the European regional and social fund must be expanded to ensure that rural areas in Wales can benefit from diversification schemes?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

It is obvious that the future income for sheep and beef producers is of fundamental importance for Wales, so in all Community and national negotiations I shall play a full and eager part.

Photo of Mr Nicholas Bennett Mr Nicholas Bennett , Pembroke

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the considerable hardship facing Welsh farmers is due to the disparity in the green pound? When the next farm price review comes round, will he press his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to bear the special problems of Wales very much in mind?

Photo of Mr Peter Walker Mr Peter Walker , Worcester

I understand my hon. Friend's concern, and I know that it is a matter that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture is considering carefully.