David Lidington: Beckett botches CAP reform


Commenting on the EU agreement reached today on the Common Agricultural Policy, David Lidington MP Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said,


"There are some steps here in the right direction, but this much less impressive, than the Government would have us think.


"The reality is that this deal is a botched compromise, which falls short of the radical changes that are needed, and it is British farmers who are going to have to carry more than their fair share of the costs of reform.


"We hoped this agreement would provide a fair deal for British farmers.  What we've got is an agreement that carries with it an undoubted risk of big market distortions and unfair competition, especially in the beef and sheep sectors. 


"The Government had promised repeatedly that it would use its influence in Europe to secure an agreement, which served the interests of British agriculture, the environment and the developing world.  The EU may find themselves in a difficult position come the time of the WTO."