• 13 OCT 2011
Proposed reforms to the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy will not make the lives of British farmers any simpler.
By Clive Aslet | The Telegraph
Every seven years, the great whirring flywheels of the EU spin into life, drive shafts turn, gears clank, and out comes the latest proposal to reshape the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). We are in that phase now. Usually, the process is of interest only to farmers, in receipt of subsidy, and Eurosceptic politicians, outraged at the cost. But this time, with the public wincing every time it goes to the supermarket, the CAP takes on a pressing relevance to people at home. Hidden within the arcane procedures of this exceptional piece of Euro-obscurantism is the question: what is farming for?
To the founding fathers of the EU, such a question would have sounded impious, a blasphemy against the suffering that continental Europe endured after the Second World War, when France, Germany and Italy were starving. Whatever the geography of butter mountains and wine lakes that it produced in the 1970s, the CAP has been, in one respect, an outstanding success: Europeans live in a land of plenty, where even the destitute can fill their stomachs.
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