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Farron raises concern following news of further delays to CAP reform

November 13, 2012 9:43 AM

TF ruralFollowing news that the European Parliament's Agricultural Committee will not vote on amendments to the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) until 2013, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has raised concerns that further delays to the implementation of the new CAP could have a huge impact of farmers in the UK.

There have been 7,415 amendments to the CAP tabled over the summer, a record number, resulting in an uphill struggle for the EU Parliament to vote on a package of amendment by the end of 2012. Latest indications suggest that the earliest a vote will come would be 23 and 24 January 2013. The Agriculture Committee's draft position would then be required to pass to the European Parliament's full "plenary" for a vote in March before Parliament's negotiators can be given the authority to commence formal trilogue negotiations with the Council of Ministers, made up of the Agriculture Ministers of each of the member states and representatives of the European Commission thereafter.

Without a new CAP in place, farmers whose agri-environment agreements end after 1 January 2014 may have no new scheme to apply for. Tim has raised concerns that these further delays leave far too much uncertainty over the UK's agricultural industry and potentially jeopardises the security of many farms.

Commenting Tim said: "The negotiations over CAP reform have been going on for far too long and while we all want to ensure that the interest of British farmers is protected and pushed onto the agenda, these further delays are causing high levels of uncertainty and anxiety for farmers across the UK over the future of their businesses.

"What we need now is hear from the EU Commission about their plans for the transition rules that will be implemented while we wait for the full new policy to be introduced. That way farmers will know where the financial support they need will be coming from and what their future will look like."