Responding to a call from the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness, to release preliminary results of analysis on how the new CAP will impact payments to Irish farmers, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has explained his stance.

He said: “The proposals, as drafted, involve significant changes, including in relation to governance, the distribution of direct payments among farmers and the increasing environmental conditionality attaching to such payments.

My department is a strong proponent of evidence-based policy making, and I can confirm that work is currently underway to analyse the impact of the various elements of direct payments in the draft regulations.

“Preliminary modelling exercises have been carried out and the results of these analyses are currently being reviewed and revised to take account of the most recently available data.

“All direct payment measures are inextricably linked to each other and this means that each time one of the elements are changed, each of the other elements also must change.

As a result, any analysis, including analysis on convergence, only remains current until one of the elements changes.

“This state of flux is likely to continue until the regulations are fully developed, at which time detailed analyses will be completed to fully address the impact on farmers in Ireland of CAP 2020.”

Concluding, Minister Creed explained: “This methodology is congruent with the requirement for each member state to prepare a strategic plan addressing all aspects of CAP expenditure and, consequently, all of these analyses remain at a drafting stage until the regulations are resolved.”