§ Annabelle Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she will take to secure the lifting of the ban imposed by the French Government on imports of beef from the UK. 
§ Mr. Carmichael
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent representations she has made to the Government of France to lift the ban of British beef; 275W
(2) what recent representations she has made to the Government of France on compensation for British farmers affected by the ban of British beef; 
(3) what representations she has made to the Government of France on compensation for British farmers affected by the ban on British beef; 
(4) what recent representations she has made to the Government of France to lift the ban on British beef. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 25 March 2002]:The Secretary of State met the French Agriculture Minister at the 18 March Agriculture Council and made it clear that we expect France to lift its ban on the import of UK beef produced in accordance with the Date-based Export Scheme as soon as possible. However, it is for the Commission to take action to enforce EU law and on 20 March the Commission wrote to the French
Beef and veal 1991 19921 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Supply and use ('000 tonnes, dcw)2 Home-fed production3 1,028 973 888 947 1.002 710 698 699 679 Imports from: the EU4 165 160 157 149 145 95 141 92 125 the rest of the world 39 45 52 41 67 74 75 60 59 Exports to5: the EU 126 140 167 228 263 64 13 9 9 the rest of the world 31 25 45 65 72 16 1 — — Total new supply 1,075 1,014 885 844 880 799 901 842 853 Increase in stocks 80 21 -36 -125 -23 67 37 -16 -83 Total available for consumption in the UK 995 993 921 969 903 732 865 858 936 Closing stocks 220 240 204 79 56 123 160 144 61 Imports as % of the total available for consumption in the UK 21 21 23 20 23 23 25 18 20 1For comparability with other years, the figures have been adjusted from a 53-week to a 52-week basis where appropriate. 2Does not include meat offals or trade in preserved or manufactured meat products. Boneless meat has been converted to bone-in weights. 3Excludes cattle slaughtered under the over-30-month scheme and selective cull and calves slaughtered under the calf processing aid scheme. 4Includes meat from finished animals imported from the Irish Republic. 5Adjusted, as necessary, for unrecorded trade in live animals.
Statistics (Commodities and Food Division), Economics and Statistics Directorate, DEFRA 26 March 2002
Imports of beef into the UK originating outside the EU as a proportion of imports into the EU rose from 15 per cent. in 1991 to 31 per cent. in 1996 but then fell to 24 per cent. in 2000. Detailed figures are shown in the table.
Imports from third countries of beef 1991–2000 Units: Thousand tonnes product weight Year EU imports UK imports UK imports as % of EU imports 1991 216.5 33.0 15 1992 219.7 32.4 15 1993 194.9 34.3 18 1994 209.1 43.1 21 1995 161.8 45.9 28 1996 170.3 52.8 31 1997 202.7 57.8 28 1998 177.9 46.4 26 1999 201.3 42.4 21 2000 202.4 48.0 24
Eurostat, Comext CD-Rom, Disk No S2/2001, Extracted: 26 March 2002276W
Government seeking observations on France's failure to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). This is the first stage in a process which may lead to a further ECJ case against France.
§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the beef consumed in the UK was imported in the last 10 years for which figures are available; what proportion of the beef imported annually into the European Union is used by the UK for domestic consumption; and what assessment she has made of the effect on the UK beef industry of the European Commission's proposal to increase beef imports from Argentina. 
§ Mr. Morley
The amount of beef imported as a proportion of the total available for consumption in the UK between 1991 to 2000 has fluctuated between 18 per cent. and 25 per cent. Detailed figures are shown in the table.
This table is not directly comparable with the supply and use table which is expressed in carcase weight and includes the meat equivalent of live trade.
The EU may import up to 293,690 tonnes of beef, under various concessionary tariff schemes. This represents less than 4 per cent. of EU beef production, which totals approximately 8 million tonnes per year. UK beef consumption is around 900,000 tonnes a year, of which imports from third countries account for less than 10 per cent., around 64,000 tonnes. The proposal to increase imports from Argentina may increase UK third country imports by around 2,000 tonnes.
Although UK consumption has shown steady recovery since the BSE crisis in 1996, recent estimates of consumption in 2000 and 2001 show a downward trend of 2 per cent. on previous years but an increase of 4 per cent. is expected in 2002.UK beef production fell 8 per cent. in 2001 following the effects of the FMD crisis. Although recovering, UK production is still expected to meet only 69 per cent. of consumer demand in 2002.277W
Furthermore, the Community beef market is well protected from third country imports by the use of import tariff systems. While some imports are allowed under certain limited concessionary import schemes, the concessions are limited to a quantity of beef amounting to no more than 5 per cent. of total Community production.
§ Mrs. Ann Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she next intends to hold discussions with(a)her French Government counterpart and (b)the European Commission about the continuing French ban on imports of British beef; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Morley
The Secretary of State repeatedly raises this issue with both her French counterpart and the Commission at Agriculture Councils.
Action to enforce the Judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) lies with the Commission which wrote to the French Government on 20 March seeking observations on France's failure to comply with the ruling. This is the first stage in a process which may lead to a further ECJ case against France.