§ Mr. Biffen
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions have been held in the Council of Finance Ministers of the comments by the Court of Auditors on the potential for fraud in the MacSharry proposals for agricultural reform; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lamont
[holding answer 9 July 1992]: The Council of Economic and Finance Ministers had a preliminary 417W discussion of the Court of Auditors' special opinion, which was produced in connection with the review of Community future financing, on 9 June. However, it was not possible on that occasion to discuss all aspects of the report and the Council did not focus on the potential for fraud in the reformed common agricultural policy.
The Government are committed to the fight against fraud and welcomes the warning note given by the Court of Auditors about the control risks associated with CAP reform. We are pressing strongly for the inclusion of robust anti-fraud provisions in the regulations governing the reformed CAP.
Tackling fraud in the Community is a priority for the United Kingdom presidency.