"Mixed bag" CAP deal ticks no boxes

26-Jun-2013 @ 14:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

A prospective agreement on the future of the EU's controversial Agricultural Policy, hammered out following lengthy "trilogue" negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council, represents a huge wasted opportunity, Conservative MEPs said today.

Agriculture spokesman Julie Girling said the agreement, which covers all elements of the CAP except those to be decided under the EU's forthcoming seven-year budget blueprint, was "a mixed bag".

She said: "It contains some improvements on the original policy voted by parliament, but many backward steps.

"In the negotiations we have managed to remove some of the worst elements, but overall it is still a bad deal.

"It will certainly not make farming in Europe any more competitive, efficient or sustainable. You cannot see how consumers, farmers or the environment will benefit, so you have to ask - who is it for? It manages to tick none of the boxes.

"Some of the so-called greening proposals go ahead, but in a lighter form. There will still be penalties against farmers who breach them, but not for the first two years.

"British farming is among the most efficient in Europe but there is really nothing here to reward that.

"Instead, old-fashioned market intervention is back in a big way, potentially taking us back to the bad old days of butter mountains and wine lakes."
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