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Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th January 1991.

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Photo of David Curry David Curry , Skipton and Ripon 12:00 am, 24th January 1991

If the hon. Gentleman wants recital of stock levels, I am perfectly willing to give one, but it would take at least 20 minutes. Yes, as I said at the Oxford conference, the CAP is in serious difficulty because, irrespective of the GATT negotiations, there is a major budgetary problem. Many circumstances have contributed to that. There has been the BSE crisis, during which the Opposition did not go out of their way to help us to reassure the public that the measures that we took were adequate—indeed, quite the opposite. Problems have also been caused by the Gulf crisis, the impoverishment of eastern Europe, the drought, German unification, increased imports and changing consumption patterns. On top of that, we have declining consumption and increasing output. They are structural problems which cannot be avoided. Yes, we are back in a serious situation, we will have to tackle it, and it would have to be tackled whether or not GATT existed.