20 October 1999
Eurotories ready for jail over bee

CONSERVATIVE MEPs are prepared to be arrested as they take their protests over Frances refusal to lift the ban on British beef to the heart of Paris today.

The group plan to march down the Champs Elysées, and are considering climbing the Arc de Triomphe.

Some members of the group say they will risk arrest to get their message across.

In a reference to the famous phrase by French Queen Marie Antoinette, the group plans to unfurl a banner stating: “Let them eat cake? Let them eat British beef!”

Tory agriculture spokesman Robert Sturdy MEP told Radio 4s Farming Today programme: “The French will protest at the drop of a hat. Perhaps thats the only thing they understand.”

Meanwhile French traders who smuggled in 30lbs of British beef for a private restaurant function could face a prison sentence for breaking the ban.