§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the effect of the recent realignment of currencies in the European monetary system on current agricultural prices and on common agricultural policy expenditure; and what effect it will have on current common agricultural policy price proposals.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
The realignment of central rates for currencies in the European monetary system has no362W direct effect on support prices under the common agricultural policy which are determined by the representative or green rate. Although there is insufficient information to allow an accurate calculation, it is estimated that the realignment has tended to increase expenditure on the common agricultural policy, largely because of changes in the relation between central and green rates which have altered the incidence of monetary compensatory amounts — MCAs. Any subsequent dismantling of the new MCAs through green rate changes would alter the level of agricultural support prices in the member state concerned: the budgetary effect of such changes would vary according to the circumstances of each case.
As I pointed out in my statement in the House on 21 April, the Commission has made clear that it does not intend to change its original proposals for increases in common agricultural policy prices for any of the major commodities.