Hogan vows to 'argue for money' to support farmers after Brexit
EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan will "argue for the money" to support farmers post-Brexit, but asked EU governments to step in to help cover the bloc's budget gap.
Brexit will leave a €10-12bn a year hole in the EU's finances, with the bloc's budget chief predicting cuts across the board.
It's not yet clear by how much the budget will shrink, as the UK has still to negotiate a divorce bill with the EU.
"I'm sure, in the absence of new resources from member states, or from new sources of taxation, that we're going to have cuts in expenditure in all programmes -including agriculture," Mr Hogan told the Farming Independent.
"The ball is in the court of the member states to decide whether they want to maintain the budget of the EU, whether they want to cut expenditure, or they want to fund new programmes," he said.
Mr Hogan made the comments a few days before the Commission launched a reflection paper on the future of EU finances, which mooted the possibility of a "radical redesign" of EU spending including "reduced direct payments" to farmers.
The paper says that in some cases, direct payments "tend to increase land prices" and "are still largely determined by historic entitlements and concentrated on large farms".
Farmers get €41bn a year in direct payments (out of a total annual CAP budget of €58bn, one of the EU's largest budget items). Ireland gets around €1.5bn.