FARM minister William Walde-grave has again called for radical reform of the CAP.
It was not only expensive for British consumers but was proving expensive for consumers throughout Europe, he told MPs last week. "I doubt whether a single country in Europe is deriving net economic benefit from the CAP," he said.
But he rejected suggestions that the CAP should be repatriated. That would mean the re-emergence of competitive protection – state aids, supports and subsidies, which would damage British farming as well as the consumer.
He did not think anyone doubted the need for a policy that moved support closer to market prices.
"If we stop the artificial dumping of subsided foods on to world markets, world prices will rise," he said during Commons questions. "Farmers have less to fear from a world where there is freer competition because of that increase in world prices." *