MPs reject ‘green’ EU farm regulations

UK MPs have rejected the EU’s new ‘greening’ regulations and claim it could harm the environment. This comes as the European Commission published its proposals for reform of the Common […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

UK MPs have rejected the EU’s new ‘greening’ regulations and claim it could harm the environment. This comes as the European Commission published its proposals for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) today.

The report wants to ‘green’ the CAP with  30% of farm subsidies to be conditional on meeting certain ‘greening’ measures. The Committee supports the environmental aims but says the member states should be given flexibility to find their own ways of achieving them.

Anne McIntosh MP, DEFRA Committee Chair said: “As they currently stand, the Commission’s proposals to green the CAP would hurt UK farmers, consumers and our countryside. They will reduce food security by taking land out of production and are likely to impact badly on our environment.”

She added a “one-size-fits all regulation cannot work across the range of environments in Europe.”

In response, Friends of the Earth’s Food Campaigner Kirtana Chandrasekaran said: “UK MPs mustn’t use concerns about a one size-fits-all approach to agricultural reforms as a smokescreen for weakening efforts for a more planet-friendly approach to farming.

“There’s no reason why EU farming plans can’t contain strong, legally-binding environmental measures that take regional circumstances into account.”

Under the proposals, farmers will need to leave 7% of their land fallow and ensure that permanent pasture is maintained on their land. The Committee claims the requirement for permanent pasture “is likely to have unintended negative impacts.”