Don't Overdo It!; Burnside Urges Government to Relax EU Regulations

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), January 31, 2004 | Go to article overview

Don't Overdo It!; Burnside Urges Government to Relax EU Regulations


THE Government is to be urged to "not overdo UK regulations'' when it formulates the rules for cross-compliance for the United Kingdom from 2005.

The European Commission is due to unveil the basic framework for cross- compliance, the set of 'good husbandry' practices farmers must abide by to be eligible for their full subsidy, later this month.

The Commission's framework will be vague and there will be considerable flexibility for Member States to set their own rules.

The Commission has no objection to Member States setting requirements above the minimum it lays down. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will launch a consultation on cross-compliance soon afterwards.

South Antrim Ulster Unionist MP and elected MLA, David Burnside, said: "I have serious concerns, based on the Government's previous record of gold-plating EU regulations, that UK farmers could be lumbered with more stringent conditions than their EU counterparts.

"I have been contacted by local farmers who are concerned that more rules will be imposed upon them and strong concerns have been expressed about the way financial penalties for infringing the laws will be levied. …

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