Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Adjustment rate to agriculture direct payments

Delivered in Plenary - 12th June 2013

Mr President

Agriculture has always been embedded in Britainís history and culture. Indeed Shepherdís Bush, Wormwood Scrubs and Lincolnís Inn Fields, in my very own London constituency, were once thriving agricultural areas. Furthermore, with the profitability of agriculture in the London green belt having increased in recent times, the impact of the CAP on Britain is of personal interest to me. This report sets the rate to which the single farm payment, post-reform, should be reduced in 2013, with the laudable aim of keeping CAP spending within budget.

While I recognise the importance of this budgetary discipline, I am strongly against the size threshold recommended by the report, which places the majority of the financial burden on Member States with larger farms, such as the UK. The only positive and rational way forward is to remove the threshold in its entirety so that the reduction applies equally to all farmers. If this is not the case, then countries with smaller farms will unjustly escape shouldering any of the burdens and avoid being affected. I therefore, along with many British colleagues, did not vote in favour of a report which places an unjust burden on Britainís efficient agricultural industry in particular.