HC Deb 06 May 1976 vol 910 c1460
13. Mr. Jay

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he proposes to allow the free import of beef and veal into this country from Australia, Argentina and other beef-producing countries outside the EEC.

Mr. Strang

The European Commission has produced proposals for a new system of variable import levies of beef, which, if implemented, would allow early resumption of normal trading between the Community and third country beef suppliers. It is intended that the Council of Ministers should reach a decision on these proposals before the summer break.

Mr. Jay

As the Government are opposed to import controls, would not it be sensible to start by removing altogether what is a virtual ban on the import of an essential food from the main exporting countries of the world?

Mr. Strang

My right hon. Friend will probably welcome the fact that we are to see a resumption of trade in beef with those countries. But I do not think that we could possibly contemplate a situation in which there was no protection for our home industry.