§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will update the figures given in his reply dated 12 December 1979 to take account of the latest devaluation of the green pound; if his reply assumed that a change of 16 per cent. in the external value of sterling would raise internal prices by only 3.75 per cent.; and, if not, what are the factors which distinguished food prices from other prices in this respect.
§ Mr. Buchanan-Smith
I estimate that, if the green rate agreed in December 1979 had applied through the whole of 1978, 375W the net reduction in EEC budgetary expenditure in respect of monetary compensatory amounts on the United Kingdom's agricultural trade would have been about £340 million, that average agricultural support prices in the United Kingdom would have been some 23 per cent. higher, and that the retail price index for food would have been about 5½ per cent. higher than the levels which actually applied in 1978. These estimates and my earlier ones are based on changes in the green rate for sterling and not on changes in its external value, because it is the green rate that determines the sterling value of the support prices for CAP commodities and through them the market prices for food and hence the food price index.