§ Mr. Harvey
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he is taking to expedite the proposal for the establishment of a loan guarantee scheme under EAGGF Measure 3.1; what obstacles regarding the state aid criterion in this matter have been raised; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Rooker
We have recently received a draft outline proposal detailing how the proposed loan guarantee scheme under the Objective 5b Programme for the South West region would operate. This is currently being considered by officials. If it is decided to proceed with the Loan Guarantee Fund Parliamentary approval will be required, as will the formal clearance of the Fund as a State Aid from the European Commission. The agreement of the Commission will also be required to amend the Single Programme Document (SPD) for the South West to enable the Loan Guarantee Fund to be included within the Objective 5b Programme.