§ The Duke of Montrose
asked Her Majesty's Government:
When they expect to announce the extent of the decoupling of subsidies which they will implement under the proposals of the mid-term Common Agricultural Policy review. [HL4575]
§ Lord Whitty
The CAP reform agreement reached by EU Agriculture Ministers on 26 June requires, with some exemptions, that direct payments be decoupled from 1 January 2005. Member states have limited discretion to derogate from this requirement both in terms of implementation date and extent of decoupling. We announced in our consultation letter of 22 July (copies placed in Libraries of the House), that we will not be making use of these derogations in England.
However, the consultation letter seeks views on two possible exemptions to this principle: first, whether to retain coupled payments in the seeds sector and, second, whether decoupling of payments in the dairy sector (where the set date for implementation is 2007) should be brought forward to 1 January 2005. We hope to announce our decisions on these two points this autumn.