HC Deb 13 April 1960 vol 621 cc138-9W
Mr. Marten

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the trade talks with the Irish Republic have yet been concluded; and with what result.

Mr. F. J. Erroll

The trade talks with the Irish Republic have been concluded and a Trade Agreement between the two Governments was signed in London this morning.

2. This Agreement supplements the Trade Agreements of 1938 and 1948 which continue to govern our trade relations with the Irish Republic. We are confident that it will contribute to a strengthening of those already close relations and will provide further opportunities for extending trade on both sides.

3. The Government of the Republic of Ireland have undertaken in this Agreement to initiate a further review of protective duties and import restrictions in the Republic, and the two Governments will consult together about the priority in which items will be taken up in this review.

4. For our part, we have agreed that, in future, attested cattle imported from the Republic and fattened in the United Kingdom for not less than three months will qualify for payments under the Fatstock Guarantee Scheme at the same rates as cattle bred in the United Kingdom.

5. These are the main points in the Supplementary Agreement. The two Governments have also agreed to hold periodical meetings to discuss trade relations and, in particular, to exchange information and views on agricultural policies and production trends. We have also agreed to seek, in consultation with each other, equitable solutions for any cases of special difficulty which may arise in trade between the two countries.

6. Copies of the text of the Agreement are being placed in the Library of the House today.