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Stuart Agnew

UKIP MEP tells Cypriot Agriculture Minister some home truths about CAP reform

25th January 2013

Stuart Agnew, the UKIP MEP and spokesman on Agriculture has been telling the Cypriot Agriculture Minister, Sofoclis Aletraris some home truths about the Common Agricultural Policy.

In the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee session on 24th January, during a review of the Cypriot Presidency of the EU Council, Mr Agnew gave the Minister a scathing critique of three wasted years discussing greening measures to tackle climate change.

He said:  “I’ve sat through debates here for a good three years about the CAP and it is interesting to see how events have actually overtaken us.   When I first came here, all I heard was ‘we must tackle climate change’ because summers were going to get hotter and drier and winters were going to get warmer and wetter.  We farmers were going to have to do something about it. We were told we were going to have to take land out of production, that we were going to have to green everything.

“Interestingly, what has actually happened is that winters have been colder and we’ve had some terribly wet, miserable summers, so the purpose of all this (greening measures) has gone by the board”.

Mr Agnew also pointed out that over the same period the situation in regard to grain stocks had changed from comfortable stocks across the world to serious shortages.  And so, for three years we’ve been talking about tackling climate change and taking land out of production through EFAs, only to be met with reality, the fact that grain stocks are going down in the world and we should be producing a lot more.

He concluded his critique by pointing out the level of discontent there was in the Committee about the CAP reform package, to the extent that a motion to “throw the whole thing out” was tabled and supported by eleven MEPs, including himself.

The full intervention by Mr Agnew can be viewed by clicking here.

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