HC Deb 02 November 1998 vol 318 cc426-7W
Jackie Ballard

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what funding his Department made available for agri-environmental schemes in each of the last three years; and what amounts he expects to be available over the next three years. [56516]

Mr. Morley

Details of expenditure on each of the agri-environment schemes in England are contained in the Departmental Reports for 1996 (CM 3204), 1997 (CM 3604) and 1998 (CM 3904), available from the Library of the House.

The implications of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review for expenditure on the agri-environment schemes over the next three years were explained in the written statement made to the House by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 27 October 1998, Official Report, columns 156–58.

Ms Keeble

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if farmers will be able to have their CAP subsidy paid in euros. [56709]

Mr. Morley

The Commission's proposals for the reform of the agrimonetary regime, to take account of the introduction of the Euro, allow for the possibility of operators in Member States not participating in the first wave to receive CAP payments in Euro. In response to UK pressure, the Commission have amended their original text to make the option of Euro payments in non-participating countries a more attractive and workable one.

We recognise that some farmers and traders in the UK are interested in the option of receiving CAP payments in Euro. At present, we are actively examining the very considerable practical and resource implications of such a move, whilst continuing detailed discussions on possible arrangements with the Commission.

In considering the option of Euro payments, we want to be sure that offering it would not jeopardise the standards of service we currently aim to provide, or increase the risk of disallowance on any part of CAP expenditure administered in the UK.

Discussions on the agrimonetary regulations are still continuing in the Council.

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