Back to Inbox ~ Home Page ~ Newspapers ~ "other news today"

I don't like to pour cold water on the Report of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food

because I am clutching at the positive aspects. Curry admits that we need a profitable agriculture and it was profit that looked after the environment in the past. Whatever people think about farmers, the countryside looks like it does because of farmers and it looks a lot better in the UK than is does in most other countries..

On the other hand the first chapter is about the Commission's "vision" - which is the cloud cuckoo bit. At the end of the day it will be the EU that decides the way forward, not the UK - or in this case just England. It only takes one country to veto an idea and it is killed off. Richard North reckons they will bodge and bodge so Curry's "vision" is a bit like our Parish Council telling Westminster what it must do.

The reason Germany are calling for an end to production based subsidies

Germany is the ONLY other EU country, apart from the UK which calling for an end to production subsidies. This is because it is ONLY the UK and Germany that are net contributors to the EU Fund and as such are subsidising farmers in 14 other EU countries. Unless the UK can change the rules on funding, it might as well try to end subsidies because of any subsidies we claim, the EU claims back about 75% (Maastrich).

This is sort of in accordance with the WTO resolution to reduce production ("Trade Distorting") subsidies by 36% in developed countries and 25% in developing countries.

Interestingly the USA, which is always complaining about EU subsidies, has recently announced a $380bn farm aid package.

If Richard North is to be believed, the proposal will not get off the ground or will be watered down because the other countries will veto it - and it only takes ONE country to veto a proposal to kill it stone dead. The EU is basically incapable of governing itself.