HC Deb 28 January 1981 vol 997 cc468-9W
Dr. Roger Thomas

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will be taking steps to abate as a matter of urgency the serious shortfall on the "clawback" on exports of 8 to 15 kg lambs that are regularly below the average market price exported to other European Economic Community countries, and which is resulting in considerable hardship to Welsh lamb exporters.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

We have already raised with the European Commission the question of abatement of clawback on Community trade. We shall continue to press for measures to protect our export interests during the Commission's forthcoming review of sheep export policy.

Mr. John Home Robertson

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why the clawback mechanism in the sheepmeat regime operates during periods when intervention buying is not taking place in France; and if he will review this situation in view of its harmful effects on British sheep exports.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

A member State operating variable premiums is required to apply the clawback charge on exports whenever premiums are payable in order to avoid subsidised exports undermining the market in other member States, which could lead to intervention. Although intervention is normally expected to take place only between 15 July and 15 December it can take place exceptionally at other times. The Commission is to review sheep export policy, including clawback, shortly and we shall be seeking further improvements in relation to British sheep exports.

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