The CAP doesn’t fit – why the EU’s farm subsidies are ripe for reform

  • The EU's farming subsidies are illiberal, hypocritical and protectionist
  • Farming makes up 6% of EU's GDP, but receives nearly 40% of the entire EU budget
  • The CAP subsidises FTSE 250 corporations like Tate&Lyle at the expense of smaller farms

With the support of the Atlas Network, CapX is publishing a new series of essays on the theme of Illiberalism in Europe, looking at the different threats to liberal economies and societies across the continent, from populism to protectionism and corruption.

Richard Findlay is a farmer in the North York Moors National Park between York and Newcastle. As the Financial Times reported last year, Mr Findlay garners a profit of around £12,000 a year by grazing some seven hundred sheep. But even that £12,000 is quite a lot if one looks closer. Indeed, if it weren’t for subsidies delivered by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Mr Findlay would be facing a loss of £32,000. Simply put, this farm would not exist if it were not for Brussels.

But Mr Findlay is far from the only farmer keeping his business alive through subsidies – the same thing is happening all over Europe. In the UK, 61% of the average farm’s profit comes from the EU’s direct payment scheme. On farms specialising in livestock farming, more than 90% of what is called ‘profit’ comes from subsidies........................................
That will be true for most if not all upland sheep places, take that sfp away and everyone has had it unless you have a turbine or two, l think Britain has the cheapest lmb in the world, France, New Zealand record prices. The countryside will be in some state if that does.

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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...