§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he is taking in response to the European Court of Auditors recent report on the widespread frauds within the common agricultural policy.
§ Mr. Lawson
As is shown by the report of the European Court of Auditors on the implementation of the 1977 budget of the European Communities, to which I assume the hon. Lady is referring, in 1977 the sums involved in irregularities under the EAGGF guarantee section and reported by member States to the Commission totalled approximately 8.5 million units of account as compared with total expenditure of nearly 8,000 million units of account. It has been, and remains, the policy of Her Majesty's Government to co-operate with the Commission and other member States in every way possible to eradicate fraud, to maximise recovery of money illegally paid, and to try to block such loopholes as exist in regulations which give rise to undesirable opportunities for exploitation.