§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how he intends to implement his policy of moving agriculture payments from direct commodity support to environmentally linked payments; and to what timetable. 
§ Mr. Rooker
The Government's policy is to seek the decoupling and eventual phasing out of production linked subsidies; some of the savings could then be used for specific targeted rural development and agrienvironmental measures. The proposed integration of rural and agri-environmental policies within the EAGGF guarantee section, as put forward under the Agenda 2000 paper on CAP reform, will lay the basis for an eventual496W shift from production support to those policies but, to effect these changes, a concomitant reduction in production linked support will be necessary. The Commission's formal proposals are expected on 18 March and negotiations in the Council will start on 31 March.