§ Mr. Prisk
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations her Department has made to the European Union regarding reducing agricultural protectionism; and what research she has commissioned into the effects this may have on the United Kingdom economy. 
§ Mr. Morley
We are committed to phasing out agricultural protectionism in the European Union. We seize every opportunity to make this clear to other member states, especially in the context of the current World Trade Organisation negotiations and the continuing discussions in the Agriculture Council on the mid-term review of the CAP. A recent estimate prepared for the Commission suggests that a 50 per cent. global cut in protectionism in agriculture could generate a welfare gain of up to $27 billion. The benefit for the EU as a whole was estimated at $17 billion.