13 November 1998
CAP payments can be in Euros — Brown

By FWi staff

UK traders and farmers will get the option of receiving payments for CAP market support measures in Euros, agriculture minister Nick Brown announced today (Friday).

In response to a question in the House of Commons, Mr Brown said that the Chancellor had stressed that each Government department was playing its part in preparing for the introduction of the Euro, and agricultural departments would have a key role to play here.

“I am pleased to announce, on behalf of agricultural departments, that we intend to make available an option for payments of market support measures, such as export refunds and intervention buying, in Euros by autumn 2000.

“Food companies and agricultural commodity traders have made a strong case for Euro CAP payments so that they can compete on an equal basis with agri-food traders in the Eurozone.

“However, there are significant obstacles to overcome,” said Mr Brown. “We are actively examining the practical and resource implications while discussing detailed arrangements with the commission.”

Mr Brown stressed that the need to put in place the new Agrimonetary arrangements by 1 January, 1999 must take precedence. It would also be necessary to safeguard CAP payments for all recipients, the majority of whom will continue to want payments in Sterling for the time being.

“We will therefore be giving further thought to the possibility of extending this option to CAP direct payments made to farmers.”