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Beckett and Brown propose Labour's nightmare for UK farming

by 5m Editor
9 December 2005, at 12:00am

UK - Farming industry leaders have branded the government&#39;s vision for the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP)* as &quot;one-sided&quot; and &quot;out of date&quot;. The joint paper, from DEFRA secretary Margaret Beckett and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, was tabled last Friday (2 December) in the run-up to key discussions on the EU budget and trade liberalisation. &quot;The paper contributes to the debate already under way on how to achieve a sustainable future for agriculture and helps answer those who have asked what the UK government means when it calls for further CAP reform,&quot; they said. Repeating much of the anti-CAP rhetoric expressed by Prime Minister Tony Blair in recent months, the report says the CAP is &quot;increasingly out of step&quot; with the needs of Europe. It imposes significant costs on developing countries and taxpayers, and continues to have a negative impact on the environment. But these views are fiercely contested by farming leaders. &quot;The report is one-sided, at times polemic and relies heavily on out-of-date sources,&quot; said NFU president Tim Bennett. &quot;It is more likely to antagonise than persuade our EU partners, particularly at the current delicate stage of European budget negotiations.&quot; Government adviser Sir Don Curry added that he was &quot;deeply concerned&quot; by the tone of the report, which calls for an end to all agricultural subsidies and protection within 10-15 years. <i>Source: FWi</i>

5m Editor