Letter from the Minister for Food, Farming
and Waterways at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (Lord Whitty) to the Chairman of the Committee
AGRICULTURE COUNCIL: 18 FEBRUARY
Margaret Beckett and I represented the United Kingdom
at the meeting of the Agriculture Council in Brussels on 18 February.
The Commission presented proposals to establish detailed
rules for the control and eradication of African Swine Fever.
The Council discussed proposals to extend the tobacco
regime for three years with minor changes. We joined a number
or delegations in arguing for a commitment to the eventual phasing
out of the regime.
On Enlargement, the Commission gave a presentation
of the approach in its Agriculture Issues paper.
Italy and France sought approval to pay national
aids to supplement prices offered under crisis distillation measures
in the wine sector. No decision was taken on this occasion but
several member states, including the UK, registered concern at
repeated recourse to these measures.
Italy tabled a paper on agriculture policy in the
context of the Mid Term Review.
The Commission reported on progress with testing
programmes for BSE.
19 March 2002