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Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in what ways the fishing industry can be assisted by means of Objective 2 grants with (a) land-based infrastructure, improvement and renovation schemes, (b) vessel equipment, (c) fish processing and marketing and (d) other support. 
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Mr. Morley: Objective 2 plans, which include funding under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), have yet to be finalised and agreed with the European Commission. ERDF funding could cover fishing port infrastructure.
Funding under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) would be available across the country and is not dependent on Objective 2 status. Plans for FIFG funding have yet to be finalised and agreed with the European Commission. Under the FIFG regulation, this could cover projects under (a), (b) and (c).
Mr. Morley: The European Commission has yet to agree the Single Programming Document for the Cornwall and Scilly Isles Objective 1 area, including the proposed priorities and measures funded through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance. Rules and guidance for applicants will be finalised following Commission approval and consistent with the relevant European regulations.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which United Kingdom fisherman's associations and other bodies are involved in the Irish Sea Cod Recovery Programme; which other maritime states are represented; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Fisheries Departments in the UK have been in close consultation with the UK fishing industry and other interests both directly and through the Irish Sea Panel of the Fisheries Conservation Group about the development of the Irish Sea Cod Recovery Programme. The organisations consulted include:
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Mr. Morley: None. UK beamers volunteered to stay out of the area of the Irish Sea which was closed to protect spawning cod. I am grateful to them for the responsible lead they took in furthering an important conservation objective and to the Irish Government, with whom we co-operate closely on many fisheries issues of common interest, for agreeing to keep their beam trawlers out of the closed area between 13 March and 1 May.
Mr. Welsh: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the impact of the climate change levy on the fish-processing sector; what compliance costs the sector will face; what assistance will be offered to this sector; and what derogations are (a) in place and (b) under negotiation. 
Compliance costs relating to the administration of the scheme will fall mainly on the energy suppliers. More information is contained in the Regulatory Impact Assessment prepared by Customs and Excise.
As the fish processing industry falls within the scope of the Integrated Pollution Prevention Control Directive, it can participate in the energy agreement to receive an 80 per cent. levy discount if agreed energy efficiency targets are met, which is being negotiated with the Food and Drink Federation.
Ms Quin: The Government have sought to design the climate change levy in a way that maximises its environmental effectiveness while taking account of the competitiveness of UK firms. The impact of the climate change levy on individual sectors of the agricultural industry will depend, among other things, on each sector's future energy use, employment trends and take-up of the various incentives offered under the levy to improve energy efficiency. Further, reductions in the rate of levy are available to the energy-intensive sectors of pigs and poultry in return for reaching agreed energy targets and, subject to approval under state aid rules, a 50 per cent. reduction to horticulture.
Mr. Prosser: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to monitor whether local veterinary inspectors in other EU member states who inspect live farm animals prior to export are
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adhering to the revised procedures for sheep and pigs destined for fattening, production and slaughter which came into effect on 31 May 1999. 
Mr. Morley: The procedures which the Government introduced on 31 May were a national measure to ensure that the inspections of these animals prior to their export are carried out to the highest possible standards. They were not introduced in other EU member states, who set their own standards.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on his policy in respect of the use his Department, its agencies and public bodies will make of the powers relating to the authorised obtaining of communications data in Part I, Chapter II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill once the Bill is enacted. 
Mr. Luff: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, following the publication of his Department's annual report, with particular reference to paragraph 1.7, he will reject the findings of the recent study that recommended the closure of Regional Service Centres. 
Mr. Morley: My right hon. Friend is still considering the future of the Regional Service Centres following the recent review of CAP scheme administration, and in light of the recent reports from the Performance and Innovation Unit which recommend closer alignment of MAFF's regional policy activities, including its regional representational role and information activity, with the Government Offices for the Regions. The further development and strengthening of MAFF's working partnership with the GOs, the Regional Development Agencies and other regional players, and the taking forward of plans for integrating MAFF's regional rural development activity with the GO structure, are identified in the Departmental Report as key challenges for 2000-01.
Mr. Tyler: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how decisions made in the National Assembly for Wales, Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament affect his policy on modulation. 
Ms Quin: Under the terms of EU Council Regulation 1259/99, modulation has to be applied consistently throughout a member state. It is therefore incumbent upon all parts of the United Kingdom to agree an approach to this, and that is what we are doing.
With Government's commitment fully to match-fund farmers' contributions up to the levels set out in the England Rural Development Plan, modulation provides the means for securing substantial extra resources for Rural Development.
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