2 January 1998

Lifting ban main priority, says NFU

LIFTING the beef ban should be the main priority during the UKs six-month EU presidency, according to the NFU.

The union insisted that the government should use the presidency to cut through the growing myths surrounding British beef production, by providing clear information on how health requirements are being met by the industry.

Decoupling of market distorting subsidies, before the next round of World Trade Organisa-tion talks, was also on the NFU priority list, with the proviso that the financial state of the UK beef industry was considered.

And it also wanted government to highlight the dangers of re-nationalisation, which could create a competitive imbalance between member states, during any CAP reform discussions.

Using unilateral welfare legislation as an example of an imbalance, the NFU called on government to press for more standardisation of welfare legislation.

The potato sector also needed to be addressed, to stop other member states providing state aid for growers when prices were low, the union believed.