Cullinan on CAP: ‘If they come out with a cut there will be mayhem’

Tim Cullinan, the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) president, has warned that if the European Council Summit agrees on a cut to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding, “there will be mayhem”.

Speaking to AgriLand, Cullinan – who is currently in Brussels with an IFA delegation – outlined the farm organisation’s position on the CAP budget.

He said: “We are looking for an increase in the CAP budget, we’re not accepting what’s on offer here at the moment and if they do a deal here today, there will be mayhem.

“The IFA will not accept it and we are very clear on that.”

Currently, a proposal is on the table in Brussels for a drop in CAP funding of over €53.2 billion – or 14%.

However, Cullinan has emphasised: “If they come out of there with a cut we’re not accepting it and there will be mayhem.”

He noted: “The council of Member States met here yesterday evening and the IFA has been out here since yesterday morning. We’ve been in constant communication with the Irish delegation out here all day yesterday and this morning.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has formally outlined his position on the EU’s budget – the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) – to European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

In meetings with the two EU leaders last night, Thursday, February 20, the Taoiseach stressed that the MFF proposal – which would see a reduction in funding for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of 14% – was “one we can’t accept”.

Concluding, Cullinan told AgriLand: “We believe they won’t reach a consensus here today but the IFA will remain in contact with the Irish delegation on an hourly basis and is continuing to watch negotiations closely.”