HC Deb 26 November 1997 vol 301 cc584-5W
Sir Richard Body

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 4 November 1997,Official Report, column 134, if the United Kingdom has been deemed to have complied with multi-annual guidance programme objectives; what tonnage cut-back requirements now exist before vessel construction or modernisation grants are made available; what sums of (a) upgrade grants and (b) decommissioning grants are involved; and if he will make a statement. [17276]

Mr. Morley

As the table showed in my previous answer, the United Kingdom had shortfalls against target in a number of its MAGP III segments as at the end of 1996 and does not currently qualify for EU funding in respect of vessel construction or modernisation grants, other than for safety-related improvements, which do not result in an increase in fishing effort.

Under the terms of MAGP IV, these shortfalls continue to have to be met in addition to our new objectives, which the Commission has still to confirm. The resulting percentage reductions will vary according to the segments and fisheries concerned and will in some cases be expressed in terms of fishing effort rather than tonnage. It is not possible to give definitive figures in advance of the Commission's formal Decision. As far as future expenditure is concerned, the Government are still considering the position in relation to decommissioning but have no plans to pay upgrade grants other than under the existing safety schemes.