§ Mr. Bulmer
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proportion of the increase in the United Kingdom in the price of foodstuffs covered by CAP in the last 12 months for which figures are available has been the result of EEC membership; and what proportion a consequence of the fall in the value of the £ sterling.
§ Mr. Bishop
I cannot estimate the effect of EEC membership on food prices because of the difficulty of predicting how prices would have changed if we had not been members.
The EEC system of monetary compensatory amounts has reduced the effect of sterling depreciation on the prices of most commodities covered by the common agricultural policy, but changes in international supplies and domestic costs also affect these prices and the effect of variations in sterling's exchange value alone cannot be reliably assessed.