Engagements

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th February 1997.

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Photo of Tony Blair Tony Blair , Sedgefield 12:00 am, 13th February 1997

Four specific questions, not one specific answer—that is about par for the course. I remind the Prime Minister that he was not obliged to stand at the Dispatch Box last June and promise that he would lift the beef ban by last November, but he made the promise. He broke the promise—like so many of his promises. He made the promise, not because he thought he could deliver on it, but because, as usual, he was in a tight spot and wanted to get out of it. Let me just put one of those specific questions and allow him to answer it: is the Minister of Agriculture right when he says that the cost is now £3.3 billion, or, as he put it, the equivalent of 2p on the standard rate of income tax? Is he right, or is he wrong?