HC Deb 18 June 1997 vol 296 c208W
Mr. McGrady

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions she had with(a) ministerial colleagues in the EU Agriculture Council of Ministers and (b) the European Commission concerning the removal of the export ban on beef produced in Northern Ireland; and what was the outcome of the discussions. [3065]

Mr. Murphy

To date I have not had the opportunity to meet either with Ministerial colleagues in the EU Agriculture Council of Ministers or with the European Commission. However, my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Agriculture Fisheries and Food, who represents the UK on agricultural matters in the EU, met with Commissioner Fischler on 12 May, and with Commissioner Bonino prior to his attendance at the Agriculture Council of Ministers on 20–21 May. He also visited the European Parliament. At these meetings, Dr. Cunningham indicated the Government's determination to secure a lifting of the ban for all regions of the UK in accordance with the Florence Agreement. The Minister has also met with the Dutch President of the Council and has further plans to meet individual Council members. Further meetings with Commission officials are taking place in the wake of the Scientific Veterinary Committee's report of 11 June.