'We are extremely concerned' - Creed hits out at raid on CAP budget
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the government is extremely concerned over proposed cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy.
Under plans for the EU’s budget for 2021-2027, farmers would receive around €232 billion in direct support, a drop of more than €30 billion from the current seven-year budget.
Speaking before a meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers, he said “we believe it is not reasonable to ask farmers to do more and more and continuing to get less and less”.
“We acknowledge that Europe faces many challenges but we don’t believe that is a reason to raid the CAP budget.
“We have had informal conversations with other member states and we believe there is a substantial number that shares that position,” he said.
The Dutch led the charge for rich northern states unwilling to step into the Brexit breach: “A smaller EU ... should have a smaller budget,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.
Against that, France’s agriculture minister called it “simply unthinkable” to shave 5pc off Brussels’ hefty spending on farm subsidies.
Speaking after the meeting, Agriculture and Rural Development Commission Phil Hogan stressed that it was up to Member States to come up with additional funds.