Approval expected for ewe premium

By FWi staff

A NEW flat rate ewe premium of Euro21 a head (13.14) seems certain to be approved for 2002 when farm ministers decide the issue on 19 December.

An extra Euro1 a head (62.6p) will go to the national envelope.

Last month, six smaller member states blocked the European Commissions plan, including Portugal and Denmark.

But private negotiations between the Belgian presidency and the agriculture ministries in these two countries have persuaded them to accept the proposal.

Once approved, the UK is expected to get Euro19.6m (12.26m) from the national envelope, based on 1997-99 subsidy claims.

Defra wants to use this money for a sheep quota buy-up scheme.

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