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Time to set aside set-aside, says Farron

July 11, 2007 12:00 AM

Tim Farron MP has called on the EU to abolish set-aside immediately following the recent poor weather and floods across the UK and northern Europe. Mr Farron has submitted a Parliamentary Early Day Motion calling for its abolition and hopes to win support from MPs from all parties.

It is estimated that for wheat alone, the European Harvest will be reduced by £6 million tonnes this year.

Although abolition of set-aside would not have improved this year's harvest, it would allow arable farmers to increase planting this autumn.

Given that set-aside is one of the biggest complicating factors in the Single Payment Scheme, abolition would also be a helpful move in speeding up payments and reducing inaccuracies.

Tim Farron said:

"We know that the Commission is looking at abolishing set-aside in the near future anyway, so it must be possible to do this now to give our farmers the best chance of recovering from the damaging effects of the recent flooding."