MEP says EU is “far too big to have a Common Agricultural Policy”
3rd October 2012
While taking part in a European Parliamentary press conference with fellow members of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in Brussels (2.12.12) Stuart Agnew MEP, the UKIP agriculture spokesman has excoriated the proposed reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), citing his view that “the EU has become far too big to have a CAP.”
He said: “ We are looking at countries which have 350 horsepower tractors vs countries that have draft oxen. We are looking at a latitude that extends 200 miles north of the Arctic circle, down to the bottom corner of Cyprus. Personally, I don’t think it is viable, particularly with all the different languages involved.
He was equally critical of the fact the UK is such a large contributor to the EU budget. “In the UK we are the second largest net contributor to the budget and it worries me that we have so little control over how that money is spent.”
Mr Agnew was characteristically blunt in his criticism of the set aside and greening measures that are being proposed in the CAP reform package. He voiced his opposition to any additional set aside with grain prices at £200 per tonne. He dismissed the greening measures as: “all this touchy feely business”.
“I’m very worried that farmers are supposed to be able to change the climate. I think this is utter nonsense. I disagree entirely that CO2 levels have anything to do with the way our climate works. I believe this (the climate) is influenced by solar cycles, lunar cycles, jet streams and ocean currents.
He described renewable energy as a “scam or Ponsi scheme of monumental proportions. “Farmers like it when they are paid huge subsidies to have wind turbines or solar panels on their land. Many of them still think that these subsidies come from the taxpayer. Actually, they don’t. They come from electricity consumers, who may well be very poor, individually. So what we are seeing is a reverse of the Robin Hood principle. We are robbing the poor to pay the rich. It is absolutely disgraceful.”
To hear Mr Agnew’s comments at the press conference in full, go to: