A future UK government has to be less extreme on the issue of agricultural support if it is to advance its interest within the EU, according to the NFU.



The union has written to two national newspapers in response to articles which highlighted that the French chose not to invite the UK to a recent meeting on the future of the CAP.

The NFU said that it was hardly surprising the French chose not to include the UK given the scepticism show by UK governments towards the CAP.

“Too often we have heard government and opposition politicians’ repeat throwaway rhetoric describing the CAP as a costly and a ‘wasteful’ policy,” wrote NFU head of economics Tom Hind.

“The CAP does represent a significant chunk of EU expenditure though this amounts to less than 0.5 per cent of GDP and a mere 1.09 per cent of total EU public expenditure.

“This seems like a relatively modest price to pay for a sector that lies at the heart of many of the challenges EU society faces in terms of food production, the environment and climate change.”

The NFU has said that if the government wants to show genuine leadership to the EU, it has to move away from an extreme and ideological stance against the CAP and pursue a more constructive dialogue with other countries.