With the EP having sent its view to the Council yesterday it was now the turn of EU farm ministers meeting in
The deal finally reached was welcomed by
In a press release on the DEFRA website the UK Government states that it could not support the final Health check deal because “it allows unused funding from the Single Farm Payment budget to be used to fund payments coupled to production, rather than being returned to the Member States, and because it creates short-term competitive distortions and uncertainity in the dairy sector from a range of measures, particularly through different increases in milk quotas for some Member States and unnecessary reviews of the phase-out process”.
London was also “disappointed that the Health Check was unable to go further in reforming the CAP, and we are concerned about the market distortions created by the increased flexibility in the use of `national envelopes’ which allow Member States to reintroduce production-coupled payments to support specific farming sectors”.
Detailed implementing regulations will be drawn up by the Commission in 2009 with most of the provisions entering into force as of 2010. While the implementation of the CAP health check now passes back home, the discussions for the real reform of the CAP post-2013 are getting underway and we need to ensure that Scotland's farming and rural interests are very much central to any future shape of the European agricultural model and that is something which we will be working hard to do.