Calls to cut the budget of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have been condemned by a Midlands-North West MEP in her address to the plenary chamber.

Speaking during a European Parliament debate on the next Multiannual Financial Framework for the EU today (Tuesday, November 13), Mairead McGuinness MEP and First Vice-President of the European Parliament called for adequate funding for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Farm incomes on average are lower than other sectors. Farmers need the support that comes via the CAP.

She acknowledged: “Debate around the next long-term EU budget for the period 2021-2027 is well underway and hard choices about where money will be spent must be made.

“There are many areas calling for more funding including Erasmus, research and security – and we must be mindful that, as the United Kingdom leaves the Union, the overall EU budget is set to shrink,” she said.

McGuinness believes that there is strong support in the European Parliament that the CAP budget should not be cut and increases must be made to account for inflation and price changes.

She outlined that MEPs will vote tomorrow on the European Parliament’s position on the future EU seven-year budget.

According to McGuinness: “Today’s debate is timely, given the Parliament’s work on the reform of the CAP.”

She explained that next Wednesday, the Agriculture Committee will discuss its vision for the next CAP.

The MEP added that in order to have a robust debate on the future CAP, “we need to know how much money is available”.

She concluded by highlighting the EU’s commitment to the environment.

“In line with the EU’s commitments under the Paris agreement on climate change, the European Parliament wants to significantly increase climate-related spending to reach a 30% target as soon as possible.”