17 September 1999
Welsh back down on cull ewe threat
WELSH ministers have backtracked on their threat to go it alone unless UK-wide help is given to hard-pressed livestock farmers, reports The Times.
The move came after it emerged that Whitehall was incensed by Welsh and Scottish politicians trumpeting deals for their farmers without clearance from Brussels.
Whitehall was angered by the two devolved administrations because it is still discussing the way forward for a cull of unwanted calves and ewes, said the paper.
Mr Brown held informal talks with European farm commissioner Franz Fischler earlier this week and further talks were expected to take place on Friday.
Any Welsh and Scottish plans would have to be approved by the Intervention Board — which is said to be unlikely to allow such national variations of policy.
But the Financial Times reports that the Welsh assembly has asserted its independence by pressing ahead with plans for a £750,000 farm aid package.
- The Times 17/09/99 page 4
- Financial Times 17/09/99 page 11 (News Digest)