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On 12 September 2018, the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee considered the Commission’s Proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), covering the period 2021-2027.
The reform package proposes a change of approach from compliance-based to performance-based monitoring, introduces more flexibility for Member States, and introduces a cap on the payments made to individual farms.
As the CAP reform will not take effect until after the end of the expected Brexit transition period, the UK will not be implementing these Proposals. However, EU agricultural policy will continue to affect UK consumers and farmers. The Committee has therefore asked the Minister for his assessment of the impact of the Proposals on the UK as a third country.
Update: on 31 October 2018, Members reviewed the response they had received from the Minister. They felt the Minister did not pay sufficient regard to the potential impact of these Proposals on the competitiveness of UK farmers, so requested further consideration of the issue. They also requested clarity on a point of apparent contradiction regarding whether any aspect of the Proposals could come into force before the UK leaves the EU, and for a view on the implications of a potential extension to the Brexit transition period.
Update: on 19 December 2018, Members reviewed the response they had received from the Minister. The draft Withdrawal Agreement has now clarified that the CAP will not apply to the UK even if the Brexit transition period is extended beyond 2020, so the Committee asked to be kept updated on negotiations as they progress and for an ongoing high-level assessment of the impact the proposals would have on the UK as a third country.
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