• East of England UKIP MEP, Stuart Agnew has accused Agriculture Minister Jim Paice of ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ in a response to the Government’s proposals for screening of imported eggs after the EU’s battery cage ban comes into force on 1st January 2012.
Mr Agnew, who farms in Norfolk said: “Mr Paice is going to have to do a lot more than tinker with this issue. Clever sound bites are not enough. Imported shell eggs are a relatively small part of the problem and UV scanning of them will only trap the unwary.
"Unfortunately, it will do absolutely nothing to protect British producers from potentially huge amounts of imported egg powder and processed egg products made from battery cage eggs.
"I would like to hear his proposals for dealing with this much more important aspect of the problem.
“The Commission is refusing to enforce its own rules because it has no clear idea of where the illegal egg producers will be after 01.01.2012. The British Government is only belatedly getting involved and has yet to come up with any substantial proposals for a meaningful solution. In my opinion, with less than four weeks to go until the ban comes into force, Mr Paice is fiddling while Rome burns.”