FRENCH BAN ON BRITISH BEEF DECLARED ILLEGAL: TORY MEPS CALL ON UK GOVERNMENT TO ACT

Today the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg formally ruled that the two-year long ban on British beef by France broke EU law. France now has a short ("reasonable") period to comply before a heavy daily fine can be levied.

Welcoming the result in the European Parliament today in Strasbourg, local Conservative MEP Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins, who was one of the original demonstrators in Paris back in autumn 1999 protesting about the ban, said:

"This result was entirely predictable, and is highly welcome. It is annoying that the wheels of justice turn so slowly: we would have had a much earlier result if the UK Government had asked for a Court case when the problem first arose."

"We now call upon the UK Government to press France to comply without further delay. We also call upon the UK Government to support the NFU claim for significant damages: North West farmers have suffered enough, and deserve compensation for the business they have lost."

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