HC Deb 03 November 1980 vol 991 cc464-5W
Mr. Marlow

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the average cost per worker per week in manu- facturing industry if the cost of the United Kingdom net contribution to the EEC added to the additional cost of food purchased from the EEC over world market prices were spread equally throughout the wealth producing sector of manufacturing industry.

Mr. Lawson

[pursuant to his reply, 30 October 1980, c. 353]: I regret that, although there is no doubt that the CAP imposes non-budgetary resource costs on the United Kingdom by obliging us to import food at prices which are above world prices, it is not possible to give a precise estimate of this cost that would be generally accepted as valid. Some of the difficulties were explained by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture in answer to a question by my hon. Friend on 11 June 1980. In any case, I am very doubtful about the practical value of the calculation which my hon. Friend requests. The costs and benefits of United Kingdom membership of the Community affect the country as a whole and not just one particular sector of the economy.