How 50 years of history got farmers hooked on subsidies

UK - Opinions among the farming community on the European Union and the Common Agricultural Policy are decidedly mixed.
calendar icon 15 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Many generally approve of both, but more think that the industry is becoming increasingly entangled in a web of regulation and bureaucracy, most of which is totally unnecessary.

Let's first take a brief look at the history before moving on to matters of the present.

On 25 March this year comes the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community.

Six member states - France, West Germany, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium and Italy - put their names to that historic instrument, which has largely defined the course of European history over the intervening years.

Sir Anthony Eden, then the prime minister of the UK, had his reservations about the EEC and opted to take the country into a looser confederation, the European Free Trade Association, along with Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

The CAP did not come to life until 1962, and it was clear from the outset it would be hugely expensive and trade distorting.

Source: The Scotsman

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