Farm Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hogan warns of €3bn ‘black hole’ in CAP budgets

European Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan
European Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Phil Hogan

Farming Independent team

Phil Hogan has warned of a €3bn “black hole” in the Common Agriculture Policy (cap) after Britain leaves the European Union.

The agriculture commissioner said that Britain is currently a major contributor to the EU budget, forking out close to €7bn net to the EU. British farmers currently get around £3bn (€3.4bn) in CAP payments.

Mr Hogan said the implications of Brexit on the CAP are going to be determined “by whether we’re going to have new sources of income, which requires the member states to agree or whether we’re going to have a cut in expenditure.“I suspect the latter. There’s going to be a €3bn black hole before we start negotiating at all,” he said.

Mr Hogan was speaking at a Dublin seminar on the impact of Brexit on the agri-food sector organised by law firm McCann Fitzgerald, and noted that fisheries could also be a major flashpoint.

“We could have a right good row over fish,” he told the seminar.

He added that there are a myriad of issues facing the agri-food sector. “Eighty-six per cent of all our infant formula that’s produced in Ireland goes to the UK.... it’s the largest importer of cheese, of which Ireland is 40pc.

“Sixty per cent of the UK Ag trade is with the European Union. So therefore it has big implications there. I met the National Farmers’ Union of the United Kingdom — from a producer’s point of view, they’re very worried,” he said, adding that about 50pc of their income comes from direct payments.

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