Farm Regulation

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 15th May 2003.

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Photo of Margaret Beckett Margaret Beckett The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 11:30 am, 15th May 2003

I am not aware of any evidence to suggest that agri-environment schemes are enforced more rigidly here than elsewhere in the European Union. Certainly, however, we believe that there should be parity, and that there should be proper enforcement, with the relevant requisite disciplines, right across the EU. Indeed, that is part of having a common agricultural policy. Equally, I am not conscious of a particular problem with regard to water whereby horticulturists are treated differently and worse than others. I will certainly look into the point that the hon. Gentleman raises, however, as I assure him that it is no part of our approach to want to see UK producers disadvantaged.