§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will apply a temporary restriction on subsidised beef imports from the Irish Republic to assist home producers, currently operating at a loss, as sheep imports from the United Kingdom have been occasionally restricted by France.
§ Mr. Bishop
Although there has been some weakening of fat cattle prices since Christmas, reflecting a slackening of domestic demand both in the United Kingdom and on the Continent, there is little evidence at present to suggest that this will prove to be more than a temporary phase. We shall however keep a close watch on the situation. Direct action to restrict trade in beef between member States would be contrary to EEC rules under the common agricultural policy, whereas sheep are not yet covered by a common régime.