§ Mr. Mackinlay
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what plans he has to make bilateral agreements with(a) Poland, (b) Hungary, (c) the Czech Republic, (d) Estonia, (e) Slovenia and (f) Slovakia to minimise regulation and to expedite veterinary inspection relating to the export of UK animal and food products; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if the EU Commission is seeking to reach agreement with applicant countries for EU membership, in advance of their accession, to minimise regulation and to expedite veterinary inspection relating to the export of EU animal and food products; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
There are already agreements between the European Union and the applicant countries. One of the objectives of these agreements is a free trade area to1048W establish progressively between the European Union and each of the applicant countries. In addition, Accession Partnerships offer applicant countries EU assistance in meeting priorities for adoption of the Community acquis, including trade rules which underpin the operation of the Single Market.
In the case of the Czech Republic there is a specific Protocol to the Europe Agreement concerning sanitary, phytosanitary and animal welfare measures in relation to trade. Under the terms of the Protocol, there are reduced frequencies for physical checks on certain products traded between the parties. The European Commission has discussed the possibility of similar protocols for trade with Slovakia, Hungary and Poland but these have not yet been concluded.