'Transitional' CAP will be needed to bridge Brexit and budget crux
MEPs warn that time is running out on CAP reform being ready for 2020
A transitional CAP programme will be necessary for 2020-21 because the new regime will not be agreed in time to be launched next year.
This was the view of a number of MEPs who addressed an INHFA meeting on CAP reform in Letterkenny on Friday evening.
Both Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness and Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy told the meeting that agreeing a CAP package by 2020 was not going to happen and that transitional arrangements would have to be introduced in the interim.
Continuing battles over Brexit and the wider EU and CAP budgets were cited as the primary reasons for the delays in the CAP reform process.
However, independent MEP Ming Flanagan and Fianna Fáil's Charlie McConalogue rejected suggestions that Brexit was to blame for efforts to cut CAP spending.
Mr Flanagan said a reluctance among the wealthier member states to increase their GDI contribution from 1pc to 1.3pc was the main reason the CAP budget was under pressure.
The west of Ireland MEP said a fairer allocation of CAP resources was also needed, and he bemoaned the reluctance of Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to support a straight capping of direct payments to €60,000 per applicant.
Commissioner Hogan's proposals will allow recipients with direct payments in excess of €60,000 to offset labour costs against CAP cuts.