HC Deb 20 January 1983 vol 35 cc218-9W
23. Mr. Hicks

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the latest position regarding his application to the European Community Commission that United Kingdom marginal land areas should be eligible for assistance under the provisions of the less favoured areas directive; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Fenner

The European Council of Ministers has yet to consider the United Kingdom's proposals for extending our less-favoured areas which, as my right hon. Friend told the House last month, were formally submitted to the European Commission on 13 December. It is too early to say when the Council of Ministers will consider our case or what the outcome will be.

30. Mr. Trippier

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what criteria have been used to designate marginal land within the less favoured areas.

Mrs. Fenner

The criteria used to identify the marginal land areas in the United Kingdom are those laid down in article 3(4) of European Community directive 75/268 on less-favoured areas. These criteria require such areas to consist of infertile land, have an economic performance appreciably below the average, and have a low or dwindling population, predominantly dependent on agricultural activity.