European Communities (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 20th November 2001.

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Photo of Lord Pearson of Rannoch Lord Pearson of Rannoch Conservative 7:30 pm, 20th November 2001

Perhaps I may put a question to the Minister. It is gracious of her to give way. When she says to my noble friend Lord Willoughby de Broke that treaty change is not necessary to reform the common agricultural policy, will she agree that enlargement is not possible without reform of the common agricultural policy? While we are on that point, will she agree also that the President of France has assured the world, in the strongest conceivable terms, in the past fortnight that France will not tolerate any change in the common agricultural policy from France's point of view—it is very advantageous to France—until 2006? Of course, it may be just a negotiating ploy, but if it is so, does it not put the process back a bit?