The Leader of the Opposition said a few weeks ago, when the Beef Crisis was at its height, that he wanted a return to long-term agreements with the Commonwealth and other arrangements with foreign countries.
We want to know tonight what is the Government's attitude to the Current Beef Crisis.
If they choose to turn the debate into a discussion on what they regard as a serious situation on the Beef Crisis they cannot complain if they do not get a reply.
The Secretary of State turned to what he called "the argument of defeatism", saying that "with a £2,000 million trade deficit, a serious sugar shortage, a Beef Crisis and other difficulties " it was impossible for people to point to the benefits of membership any longer.
The Secretary of State turned to what he called "the argument of defeatism", saying thatwith a £2,000 million trade deficit, a serious sugar shortage, a Beef Crisis and other difficulties it was impossible for people to point to the benefits of membership any longer.
Last year's Beef Crisis reflected the British Minister of Agriculture's lack of flexibility within the CAP system.
The Current Beef Crisis started with the scrapping of Labour's regulations on the content of cattle feed.
Is the Deputy Prime Minister telling the House that Government policy on the Beef Crisis did not engage the main part of the right hon. Gentleman's attention in the latter part of last week?
Is the Minister aware that rural Wales faces devastation from the prospective loss of as many as 20,000 jobs because of the Beef Crisis?
May I press the Leader of the House further on the Beef Crisis?
We achieved a notable measure of understanding and support over the Beef Crisis that we and our European partners face together.
Does my right hon. Friend accept that all those in farming and the processing industry were very glad indeed that he was able to make the Beef Crisis the top priority in his visit to Turin?
Having seen my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland in action, I reject out of hand any suggestion that he has not been vigorously involved in the effort to find solutions to some of the problems arising from the Beef Crisis.
I join hon. Members who have called for a debate about the Beef Crisis.
Never was the Scottish dimension as real as it has been in recent weeks, with Scottish and Ulster farmers making common cause in the Beef Crisis.
of the public blame the European Union for the Beef Crisis, while 45 per cent.
They have contravened the explicit recommendation of the Select Committee on European Legislation—that the common agricultural policy price proposals "raise questions of considerable political importance" and warrant "an early debate by the House rather than by European Standing Committee A." The Government have, therefore, prevented the House from expressing its views through amendments to a proper motion, and have prevented us from tabling amendments in relation to the Beef Crisis.
They have contravened the explicit recommendation of the Select Committee on European Legislation - that the common agricultural policy price proposalsraise questions of considerable political importanceand warrantan early debate by the House rather than by European Standing Committee A.The Government have, therefore, prevented the House from expressing its views through amendments to a proper motion, and have prevented us from tabling amendments in relation to the Beef Crisis.
A great many people want to intervene, but I shall give way only on the big issues - and the big issue here is the Beef Crisis.
There are important European aspects of the Beef Crisis.
The Beef Crisis is an example.
The Trustee Savings bank has estimated that the jobs of about 21,500 people in Scotland could be affected by the Beef Crisis.
The downstream effects of the Beef Crisis must also be dealt with in some detail.
Towards the end of her speech, the hon. Lady talked about the need for co-ordination, and there I entirely agree with her - except that she seems to have ignored the fact that the Minister of State has daily meetings for exactly that purpose with the representatives of all the interests concerned with the Beef Crisis.
I want to refer to some of the criticisms - they might be called accusations - that are being made about how the so-called anti-Europeans, who are in fact Euro-realists, have regarded the Beef Crisis.
Food producers in my constituency and in the surrounding area have been desperately affected by the Beef Crisis.
Therefore, the economic effects of the Current Beef Crisis are proportionately greater in Scotland than in England precisely because of the greater importance of agriculture, particularly beef, to our economy.
The third reason why we need urgent reform of the CAP is linked to what has become the main subject of the debate - the Current Beef Crisis.
The Beef Crisis is an utter disaster for the farming industry in general and for the beef industry in particular.
There is much that I would like to say, and which should be said, about the details and principles of the CAP, but like other hon. Members I shall concentrate on the Beef Crisis.
I thank my hon. Friends the Ministers for their hard work in relation to the Beef Crisis - I know that it has been time consuming and exhausting.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and the Government have been unjustly accused in the press of dithering in respect of the Beef Crisis.
You, Mr. Deputy Speaker, will recall that my speech last Thursday on the Beef Crisis was - for reasons that I perfectly understand -terminated mid-sentence by you, as I was reflecting on the consequences of the ban on British beef for our relations with the European Union.
With reference to what the Foreign Secretary described as a turning point in the Beef Crisis, have the Italians simply agreed - as I understand it - to try to use their best endeavours to secure agreement with other European Union countries, or have the Italians now agreed to support the lifting of the ban and the British position?
May I put it to the Prime Minister that, if the negotiation neither has a time scale nor an improvement in compensation, on any basis the price that this country will be paying for the Beef Crisis will be with us for many years to come?
The Beef Crisis is a very serious crisis.
The outbursts from the unelected official, Jacques Santer, over the Beef Crisis illustrate my case and reveal the underlying and deeper problem of democratic legitimacy.
At the European summit in Florence on Friday, it is possible - if the Beef Crisis permits - that there will be discussion of Europe's common foreign and security policy.
When will the President and his fellow Cabinet members realise that the Government's position on Europe, far from progressing a solution to the Beef Crisis, is hindering a solution to it and harming Britain's competitive position?
For an example, we need look no further than the chaos and confusion surrounding the Current Beef Crisis.
The hon. Member for Redcar (Ms Mowlam) mentioned a united representation in relation to the Beef Crisis.
I want to use part of my remarks to comment on the Beef Crisis and how the Government see the likely developments during the next few days.
It is now possible to draw up a score sheet on the Beef Crisis.
So far, the debate has been almost entirely confined to the Beef Crisis.
I hope that, if the Beef Crisis ends - at least in the immediate diplomatic sense, because it will not end in the longer-term agricultural sense - the Government will learn the error and folly of their ways of the past few weeks.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary has left on his plane for Florence, and I am sure that he goes with all our good wishes for a solution to the Beef Crisis in the IGC that starts tomorrow morning.
However, I do not want to follow him on this occasion, but wish to say some words about the Beef Crisis and what we have learnt from it.
So much has been said about the Beef Crisis, and I have so little time.
We must fact the fact that the Beef Crisis has long been a calamity of indeterminate scientific analysis over natural good sense, but one hopes that the end is now in sight.
Unfortunately, I do not have time to go into detail about the Beef Crisis, but it is worth pointing out that none of the 21 countries that imposed a ban on our beef before the European Union action will make any financial contribution to the British farmers affected by their ban, whereas the European Union is providing financial support.
I promised myself that I would say nothing about the Beef Crisis, but I have been tempted by the latter remarks of the hon. Member for South Derbyshire.
Such is the unpredictability of political life that six months ago we did not imagine that we would spend the majority of today's debate discussing a Beef Crisis.
Is there in existence a letter from the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Prime Minister criticising the Government's handling of the Beef Crisis and making a threat, veiled or otherwise, to resign from the Government?
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that the Government have not been diverted by the Beef Crisis from pursuing their general objectives in Europe as outlined in the White Paper: that is, preventing any further moves towards a federal state of Europe and, where possible, returning powers to this country and to Parliament?
I beg to move,That this House believes that, in view of the Government's mishandling of the BSE and Beef Crisis, the salary of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food should be reduced by £1,000.
We all remember the hysterical outburst of the hon. Member for Peckham (Ms Harman) at the beginning of the Beef Crisis which did so much to undermine consumer confidence.
The Whole Beef Crisis has been far too bedeviled with politics rather than based on good scientific advice and cool rational judgment.
The Government's handling of the Beef Crisis has undoubtedly exacerbated the problems and undermined confidence in the industry.
Christopher Tugendhat, a former Conservative Commissioner, commented, as the Beef Crisis mounted, that a similar problem had arisen, when he was a Commissioner, in the French agricultural sector.
The Whole Beef Crisis has been far too bedevilled with politics rather than based on good scientific advice and cool rational judgment.
As far as I am aware, this order is the first firm and specific one received from outside the EU since the Beef Crisis began.
Will he or one of his Ministers have a quick word with the Consumers Association, to ensure that it does not make the same kind of foolish statement that it made over the Beef Crisis?
The right hon. Gentleman should give up this matinee performance, and start dealing with the realities of the Beef Crisis and other matters that we deal with daily.
The Government's handling of the Beef Crisis has made them the toast of the vegetarian movement.
Does the Minister agree that the Beef Crisis has borne more heavily on Northern Ireland - because of its high percentage of imports, at more than 77 per cent.
It is clear that the Opposition are milking the Beef Crisis for all it is worth.
The Government should ensure that there is equity of treatment for each farmer who has suffered loss as a result of the Beef Crisis.
It is no wonder that our farmers are distraught, or that the National Farmers Union passed a vote of no confidence in the Minister and the National Farmers Union of Scotland called on the Prime Minister totake charge of policy on the Beef Crisis, which has now become a bumbling shambles.
From the beginning, Labour has treated the Beef Crisis as a political opportunity.
An important article, entitled "How the Government turned the Beef Crisis into a £2.
The purpose of the debate is to call the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to account for his disastrous handling of the Beef Crisis, a crisis which he and his colleagues have exacerbated by blunder after blunder.
5 billion on the Beef Crisis.
Does my hon. Friend think that the Beef Crisis was helped or exacerbated by the shadow Secretary of State for Health, the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith), asking whether it was true that members of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee were not feeding British beef to their children and grandchildren?
It is almost a year since the Minister came to the House of Commons and made the statement that triggered the Beef Crisis.
It seems that, with the Labour Government coming into power, there will be a definite movement on the Beef Crisis.
Much has been said about the Beef Crisis, the ineptitude of the announcements that were made and the failure to take swift action to arrest the problem.
Mr. Griffiths: Producers in Monmouthshire and elsewhere have received direct financial aid—amounting to some £250 million for the UK as a whole—since the start of the Beef Crisis.
The Beef Crisis has placed an exceptional strain on small family farms devoted to dairy and beef farming.
Farming is the predominant industry and has been badly affected by the Beef Crisis.
As a rural constituency, Dumfries has been especially hard hit by the Beef Crisis, but I am heartened by the positive attitude that has developed over recent weeks.
The farmers who are in a great ferment - almost rebellion - in parts of Wales as a result of the Beef Crisis would want to know where they should go to have a riot outside or a meeting inside, or both, because that is what parliamentary assemblies are for.
I have used it as a colourful expression to help hon. Members to understand what a parliamentary assembly is for and to try to predict what would have happened if the Beef Crisis had happened after June 1999.
The Government have recognised that the previous Government's handling of the Beef Crisis led to a delay in finding a solution and to even more burdens being placed on the farming community.
I served on the Select Committee on Agriculture for 10 years, including during the Beef Crisis.
The Beef Crisis is not of the industry's own making.
May I emphasise to him that even when the Beef Crisis is over, there will be a considerable period before the export market builds up?
In the light of the expected very positive and welcome statement this afternoon in Strasbourg by the European Commission to relieve the Beef Crisis, will the Minister - I join the hon. Member for West Tyrone (Mr. Thompson) in asking this question - take the necessary steps to assist our farmers to recover their lost markets?
He says that the whole of farming is in total disarray and that the Beef Crisis is not over.
We have a Beef Crisis, and - because of the strength of the pound - a lamb crisis.
We were warned about that during the Beef Crisis, when German producers sought to do that about our beef.
I refer hon. Members to the events of the past two years and to our experiences of the Beef Crisis.
If any demonstration of that were wanted, we need only look back to the Beef Crisis, when the Conservative party in government threatened our European partners with everything bar nuking them and got absolutely nowhere - but, within 18 months, the Labour Government got the ban lifted.
He was at his home back in Scotland, and we were discussing the Government's handling of the Current Beef Crisis.
Offstage at the council, there will also be bilateral discussions with the French Government about the continuing Beef Crisis and their refusal to lift their ban.
On the same principle, it is tempting to refer to the Beef Crisis, but let us stick to the coal industry for the moment.