§ Mr. Teddy Taylor
To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the current practice of offering beef for sale abroad by subsidy at prices low enough to enable it to be sent back to the United Kingdom at prices lower than are available to home producers; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
The Community agreed a reform to the beef support policy in December 1986 which cut the common support level by some 15 per cent. The Commission's proposals for agricultural prices for 1988–89 envisage a further cut and the beef regime is to be further revised this year in the light of the recent decisions of the European Council. As these steps and the measures which have been applied in the milk sector come into full effect the need to make costly disposals of surplus beef on world markets will decline. Meanwhile, the EC Commission has recognised the need to ensure that additional supplies of beef are available to the Community meat processing industry on terms that enable the Community production to be competitive with processed products from other sources.