13 March 1998
Cunningham woos French to help lift beef ban
A BREAKTHROUGH deal with France could mean that Ulster beef will be on
sale “within a few weeks”.
The government is confident it can now win a vote at next weeks
two-day meeting of European agriculture ministers in Brussels to lift
the export ban on beef from Northern Ireland.
The deal follows a round of hard-talking diplomacy between UK farm
minister, Jack Cunningham, and his French counterpart, Louis Le
Pensec. Prime Minister Tony Blair is expected to reveal on Monday
exactly what the deal involves.
The French abstained when the European veterinary committee voted
against lifting the ban last week. According to todays
Independent, Mr Cunningham is reported to be confident
of victory this time round, with only three of the fifteen countries
involved wanting the ban to remain.
- Independent, page 9 13/03/98