§ Mr. Biffen
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consideration has been given to the EEC draft milk hygiene directives; what is the likelihood of their being made effective when certain EEC animal disease derogations expire at the end of the current year; what changes to the directives are being sought by the Government; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Bishop
Discussion on long-standing Commission proposals to harmonise health and hygiene standards for liquid milk has recently been renewed at official level within the EEC. The proposals are wide-ranging and complicated, but the Government's general aim will be to ensure that any proposals which may be adopted would require milk production in other member States to meet the same high standards as are laid down in our own regulations.
The animal health derogations referred to by the hon. Member are not dealt with in the draft liquid milk directives, and we regard them as a separate issue.