Archive Article: 2002/07/19

19 July 2002

Beware, Mrs Beckett, more could be less…

DEFRA secretary Margaret Becket is right to demand a better allocation of rural development funds under the Agenda 2000 mid-term review.

Despite farming more than 10% of the EU area, the UK gets just 3.5% of the total budget.

But theres an inherent danger. The commission plans to recoup all the money saved by modulation and redistribute it according "to objective criteria". Those will include levels of agricultural employment and prosperity, which will favour southern member states.

Unless she is very careful, Mrs Becketts support for the repatriation of modulated funds could result in the UK getting even less of the budget.

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