Cotton: Subsidies

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 21st March 2011.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Independent, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has held with (a) her EU counterparts and (b) the European Commission on EU cotton subsidies.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK has consistently argued within the EU in favour of decoupling and against harmful export subsidies, although the specific subject of cotton subsidies has not been raised at the Agriculture Council itself since May 2010.

The forthcoming common agricultural policy reform negotiations will provide a major opportunity for the UK to raise this issue and seek an end to all coupled payments, including those to the cotton sector.

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