What is the Common Agricultural Policy?
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was designed to provide income support for farmers in the EU. It has been much criticised and modified over the years, not least because of its impact on the environment. It remains a cornerstone of the EU budget, accounting for just under 40 per cent of the total (down from 66 per cent in the early 1980s), and many European farmers are dependent on it for their survival. The basic objectives of the policy are to increase agricultural productivity, ensure a fair standard of living for farmers, stabilise markets, ensure the availability of supplies and ensure reasonable prices for consumers. The nations of the UK will set their own regimes for agricultural support after Brexit. In England ministers are moving to a system of ‘payment for public goods’ but have said they will maintain current payment levels to the end of the parliament.
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