Glenis Willmott led Labour MEPs yesterday in voting against the agreement on the future of the CAP, as the European Parliament finalised how the EU’s agriculture budget for the next seven years will be spent.
Glenis said: “Some changes being proposed are timely and to be welcomed. However, the package as a whole represents a missed opportunity. It’s weak and lacks ambition to really get to grips with the problems.
“Labour has always said that where farming practices are inefficient, they should be replaced. We have consistently demanded sustainable, competitive models of agricultural practice that are good for communities in the countryside but that also benefit the wider public.
“That’s why we had called for an overhaul of European spending on agriculture, with more focus on financial efficiency, environmental protection and rewarding good farming practices.
“I’m hugely disappointed that the UK government didn’t push for more significant improvements when the agriculture budget was discussed in the European Council.
Many environmental groups are calling the agreement a “green wash”, and I think that’s right , because there appear to be few tangible benefits for the environment and many farmers will be exempted from environmental protection requirements.