§ 1. Mr. Shersby
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is yet in a position to announce the outcome of his correspondence with the European Commission concerning the date of implementation of the Labelling of Food Regulations 1980; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Peter Walker)
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave him yesterday on this subject.
§ Mr. Shersby
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the decision that he announced yesterday will be widely welcomed by both food manufacturers and consumers? What progress has been made by other European countries towards implementing the directive, and what will be the position on 1 January in respect of goods from overseas that do not comply with it?
§ Mr. Walker
I delayed the decision to put pressure on the Commission to take action against countries which, seemingly, were not going to comply. I now have confirmation that the Commission will take legal action against countries which will not comply. The goods of any country that does not comply with the directive, but endeavours to export to this country, will not be allowed in.
§ Mr. Bright
Will my right hon. Friend clarify his intentions so that food processors and retailers are left in absolutely no doubt about their obligations?
§ Mr. Walker
My hon. Friend will not have seen the full text of the written reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) yesterday. It fully satisfies the food processors and manufacturers. They are now clear as to the manner in which the regulations will be applied.