§ Mr. Proctor
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the problems associated with the smuggling of agricultural produce in Northern Ireland; and whether he has reached any conclusions in his discussions with Ministers and officials of the Republic of Ireland in respect of this matter.
§ Mr. Adam Butler
The smuggling of agricultural produce between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to avoid payment of United Kingdom monetary compensatory amounts—MCAs—is of concern to the Governments of both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland, Customs and Excise, the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce and the Ministery of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have held meetings with Republic of Ireland officials to devise measures to prevent the avoidance of MCAs. These meetings resulted in the very helpful introduction by the Irish authorities of controls over the ultimate use of commodities to combat the abuse of traffic in certain of them. United Kingdom MCAs have been negative since 14 March and a meeting was held some days ago to consider measures to deal with the possible consequences of this development