EU farm incomes in 2016

It is frequently asserted in Brussels agricultural policy discussions that European farmers over the past few years are barely surviving, buffeted by unprecedented price collapses, the unwillingness of supermarkets to pay decent prices, the closure of external markets and tightening regulations. Commissioner Hogan spent much of the first half of his term of office bringing forward one emergency financial package after the other as taxpayers pumped more money into a sector supposedly on its last legs.
This picture of an industry in crisis is naturally promoted by the well-oiled publicity machine maintained by the farm lobbies in Brussels and national capitals.… Read the rest

What the UK Conservative Party manifesto says about Brexit

Given that Mrs Theresa May seems certain to be returned as UK Prime Minister with a greatly increased majority after the UK General Election on 8 June next, it is worth paying particular attention to what the Conservative Party manifesto which was launched yesterday has to say on Brexit issues in general and trade, immigration and agricultural issues in particular.
The manifesto actually has little new to say on these topics, with the exception of a new promise to extend agricultural support at current levels to the end of the next parliament, i.e. 2022 compared to the current commitment to maintain support at current levels to 2020.… Read the rest