Here we are (UK farmers), unable to meet the demand for half the UK's food requirement due to EU quotas and cutbacks, starved (comparatively) of financial support, getting the worst prices in the EU and being driven out of business at an alarming rate by high costs, over regulation and low prices.
Where is the COMMON Agricultural Policy? There must be an EU plan somewhere to use the UK to mop up French & Irish surpluses - a plan that is more effective if you can reduce the amount of food the UK produces. Soon we will be reliant of much more than half our food from imports which could leave us a little hungry if war or civil unrest blocks off the supply routes across or underneath the Channel or the Irish Sea.
I have witnessed the heart ripped out of British agriculture over the last few years with the closure of countless markets, almost 1000 abattoirs (to comply with EU export rules), unfair competition from imports (subsidised by UK taxpayers), the unnecessary break-up of the most efficient milk marketing and distribution system in the world (which was not a monopoly in the EU), gold plating of EU rules by the Govt, the lack of match funding compared to the other EU14 and a succession of diseases and food scares blamed conveniently on the UK farmer instead of the policy makers who are really to blame.
And what has the Government done to help while the French etc have been giving start-up grants to farmers sons (as the parents hand over the farm), match funded subsidies and discretionary subsidies (partly UK taxpayers money) to their farmers? Basically said "if you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!" or "Go organic - with "sorry there is not enough money to help you over the transition period when you have lower yields without the organic premium". (organic prices have been eroded to the extent some farmers are reverting to conventional production). Basically it has been implied that we will not get a return from supplying the supermarkets so we should cut back and supply a small amount of produce to niche markets thus leaving the door open for even more imports to come in. The one that really gets me is that we are constantly being bereated for producing surpluses when if fact there is a shortage of UK produced food. You would think that a shortage would lead to better prices but the policy of flooding the market with cheap imports is the tool that is being used to squeeze the UK farmer out of business.
It is also correct that food processing will also be exported as supplies of British food dries up. That will lead to large job cuts and finally Britain will never again be able to feed itself as the countryside and food manufacturing is deliberately melted down - a policy that will come to haunt us in the future when it will be regarded as "a mistake" but, for now, the EU is thankful we are rich enough to help mop up the massive surpluses of other EU countries.