Abolition of CAP urged by Hurd's backers

THE ABOLITION of the Common Agriculture Policy in its present form is being advocated by supporters of Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary.

Some of those close to the Foreign Secretary believe the continued expansion of the European Union will make the cost of the CAP no longer supportable.

One option being advanced by Mr Hurd's colleagues is for the CAP to be 'repatriated' so that Britain would pay what it could afford for agricultural support within Britain. The direction of the fund from the centre in Brussels would cease.

The change would make the cohesion fund - under which the rich countries pay more to the poorer regions - more important. Britain would still contribute to the cohesion fund, which may replace the CAP in giving European-wide support to agricultural communities in under-privileged areas.

It is unlikely that ending the control of Brussels on CAP spending would reduce food mountains in Britain. The Government could not contemplate ending intervention, which would provoke a rebellion by the agriculture industry.

But demanding more control of EU agriculture spending would be a vote winner for the Prime Minister in a 1997 general election.

'Abolishing the CAP is off the record at the moment, but it will be on the record within a year,' said one source close to Mr Hurd.

The fact that those close to Mr Hurd are prepared to consider such dramatic changes to the structure of the CAP will strengthen the demands by Tory 'Euro-sceptics' for a two- or three-speed Europe.

Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, publicly contemplated Britain opting out of developments to the EU at the weekend. 'What would happen in the unlikely event of our failing to persuade our partners to agree to a development of the community in the way in which we want it to develop . . . is that we would exercise our veto against changes that we didn't like,' he said on BBC Radio.

The French are expected to be opposed to the plan, but John Major and Chancellor Kohl are reported to be in broad agreement on the need for more fundamental change to put on the agenda for the 1996 EU inter-governmental conference.

The CAP was reformed in 1992 to switch support from the end product towards the producer. British farmers gained, but the englargement of the EU from 12 to 16 members to include Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden, will push the CAP budget to the limit.

Mr Major told Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, that he wanted further expansion of the EU to the East. Mr Hurd regards as inevitable and proper the eventual expansion of the EU to embrace Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

German sources are reported to have said planning should begin now on the options for the 1996 conference in preparation for further expansion of the EU.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing