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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.
David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made towards reforming the Common Agricultural Policy; what factors she estimates will influence further moves to reform; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Agriculture Council has completed its reading of the Commission's outline proposals which were tabled on 10 July. The Commission will now reflect on the discussions in Council and produce the detailed
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legal texts which will be necessary to translate their proposals into changes to the CAP regulations. We expect these to be put to the Council in late January.
I expect further reform to be influenced by a wide range of factors including the need to improve the sustainability of European Agriculture and to take account of its impact on international trade and development particularly with a view to a successful conclusion to the WTO round negotiations. I also expect the negotiations to take account of the setting of a ceiling for Category 1A expenditure for the period from 2007 to 2013 at the Brussels Summit.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason she has not replied to the letter from the honourable Member for Yeovil, dated 23 October 2002, on the Rural Payments Agency; and if she will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 20 November 2002, Official Report, columns 15859W, if she will make a statement on the new integrated policy appraisal tools to ensure that environmental impacts are considered alongside social and economic impacts. 
Mr. Meacher: DEFRA's commitment to use integrated policy appraisal (IPA) was set out in the Department's Sustainable Development Strategy, XFoundations for our Future", published in June 2002. It is currently being piloted within DEFRA in a number of selected policy areas, and will be applied more widely in the coming year. The IPA provides a framework or template within which the economic, social and environmental impacts of policy options and their distributional effects in relation to different groups of people can be assessed. It allows decision-makers to:
highlight areas requiring more detailed or specialist guidance/further appraisal; and
following any such guidance or appraisal, assemble evidence systematically to provide a summary of the impacts of a policy and the likely scale of the impacts.
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Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department received the Opinion of the Legal Service, Council of the European Union No.13585/02, Limite, JUR424 PECHE164, dated 29 October; and when this was passed to the (a) Scottish Fishermen's Federation and (b) National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many UK vessels are involved in scallop fishing; how many people work in scallop fishing in the UK; how many people are employed in the scallop processing industry in the UK; and what estimate she has made of the value of the scallop fishery industry to the UK economy. 
Mr. Morley: Details from Fisheries Departments systems show that 471 UK vessels caught scallops in 2001. The landings of scallops by these vessels in 2001 were valued at #29.9 million, compared with the total value of landings by UK vessels of #574.4 million. With regards to the information requested on levels of employment, estimates of employment are not made at the level of detail required in order for answers to be provided.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what was the total (a) volume and (b) value of flowers imported into the UK from Kenya for each year since 1997; what discussions her Department has had relating to the involvement of UK companies in the import or production of flowers produced in Kenya using chemicals banned in the EU; and if she will make a statement; 
|Year||Total tonnes||Total #000|
(1) January to September
HM Customs and Excise
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There are no controls on the import of flowers into the UK in relation to the use of pesticides or environmentally unsustainable practices, other than EU common quality standards which require that marketed cut flowers must be free of pesticide residues that affect the visual quality of the product.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much is outstanding in respect of payments for valuation fees during the foot and mouth outbreak in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK. 
There is a dispute between some valuers in Scotland and England over the basis of reimbursement. The claims in dispute are (a) Scotland #1,270,000 and (b) the UK #2,075,001. The UK figure is the total for Scotland and England. There are no outstanding payments or disputes in respect of valuation fees in Wales or Northern Ireland.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the hunts active across the Vale of York in part in upland areas will be allowed to continue under the proposed Bill. 
Alun Michael: The proposal in the Hunting Bill is to establish a system for making case-by-case decisions on whether hunting activities may take place, to ensure that unnecessary suffering is prevented. An applicant would have to show that both the tests of utility and cruelty are met in the case of the particular hunting proposal. It will be for the registrar to be satisfied, on the basis of an objective assessment of the evidencewhich would cover any local factorsprovided by both the applicant and the animal welfare body, that the proposed hunting satisfied the two tests, namely, that it would be for one of the purposes set out in clause 8(1) and that the purpose cannot reasonably be achieved by a method that would cause less suffering.
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