Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Barry Gardiner MP, Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman

  I am writing to update your Committee on the Explanatory Memorandum recently submitted by my colleague, Lord Rooker, on the Protocol on Mountain Farming attached to the Alpine Convention.

  The Explanatory Memorandum noted a number of concerns with the Convention. We have received reassurances from the Commission that has allayed our concerns. In particular, that the Protocol will not be binding on the Community as a whole, that it will not in any way constrain the future development of EU policies (and in particular, will not hinder future reform of the Common Agricultural Policy), and will not have any implications on EU expenditure.

  In light of these reassurances, we are therefore now proposing to support the Convention.

  I appreciate that a letter updating the Explanatory Memorandum is not standard practice, and apologise for any confusion that may have been caused to the Committee, which has been as a result of a clerical error.

23 May 2006

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