THE cut to the EU's long term budget for 2014-20 agreed by the heads of government for the first time in history will mean the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will also be reduced.
And this now paves the way for the reforms in the CAP, according to the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
The NFU said the deal now opens the way to an agreement on CAP reform, which the Irish presidency hope to conclude in June.
For the NFU, the two critical points are that the UK, and its members, are treated fairly both in budgetary terms and in terms of the greening conditions that are imposed on them.
NFU president Peter Kendall said: “The NFU has consistently stated that it would be unrealistic to expect the CAP could be exempt from cuts, when all public expenditure across Europe is under pressure. The important thing for us is to ensure that the UK is treated fairly and equitably.
“The heads of government have introduced some improvements in the commission’s proposals as they affect agricultural spending. For example, they have agreed that greening of the CAP will not require land to be taken out of production and that capping of the payments to larger farmers will be voluntary at member state level.”