France received 2.5 times as much in EU farm subsidies as the UK last year

Graham Charles Lear
4 min readJun 25, 2020

Let us all look at one aspect of the amazing story of how the second-richest EU economy has played the EU benefits system for decades and got away with it, taking billions per year in subsidies for its inefficient farming sector.

The UK’s economy is slightly larger than that of France, but its population is smaller. One significant area of difference is that France still retains a sizeable rural economy, subsidised by the French State and particularly by those few EU countries such as the UK who are net contributors. (The UK is of course still paying in.)

For decades France has fiercely protected one of the first features of what was originally the EEC or ‘Common Market’ — that of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It has done so because it is by far the biggest beneficiary of what are effectively subsidies for running an inefficient agricultural sector.

Let's Look at how much subsidy French farmers receive, shall we?

Over the past 10 years, the EU has been spending 40% of its budget on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

In 2019 alone, the EU says it spent €54.5 billion on the CAP

France received €9.4 billion of this

That is an enormous sum of money — and this was only in the last year

Incredibly, rich France received almost one-sixth of the EU’s entire Common Agricultural Policy subsidies in 2019, with a grand total of €9,439,521,000 (9.4 billion) Euros.

This made it the recipient of by far the biggest EU subsidy.

With the UK receiving just €3.9 billion Euros, this means:

France has been receiving over 2.5 times more rural and agricultural payments from the EU than the UK

We have to deal in the reality of the EU — including the way the EU gets money from the few net contributor member states such as the UK, and the way it spends that money. We have look at the way decisions are made and at the nature of those decisions.

When we do, we see the EU for what it really is.

By contrast, for years we have seen, heard and read Remainer-Rejoiner politicians and commentators in the UK on a daily basis, talking about what they think the EU is and does. They present a happy valley where ‘all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds’, as the French philosopher Voltaire had it. Alas, they are all sadly deluded. “Voters didn’t know what they were voting for” — Remainer MPs certainly didn’t and don’t

Unfortunately, the ignorance of Remainer-Rejoiner MPs and campaigners doesn’t stop them lecturing the British people as if they actually knew what they were talking about. Day after day week after week I show solid evidence such as that above, showing that the EU is profoundly dysfunctional, undemocratic, warped in its thinking, and unrepresentative of the peoples of the individual member countries.

All of the data researched to produce this article came from the EU itself. It’s up-to-date — or as up-to-date as the EU ever is. Remainer-Rejoiner MPs and campaigners can’t simply dismiss information like this. They have to face it, and then tell the British people why they still think that the voters got it wrong four years ago this week.

Poor France? I don't think so

What justification can you think of, for why France should receive by far the largest agricultural and rural subsidies in the EU? Come to that, what justification can you think of for any agricultural subsidies to be collected and distributed by the EU at all?

If countries like France want to subsidise their agriculture and their rural economies, (something which the British government will do post-Brexit), let them do it themselves.

On a small point of order.

We can now see why France is vocal at losing its fishing industry when they are banned from British waters if no agreement is reached. The EU will have to find money to continue to give to the agricultural sector of France once the UK who has been as the Germans put it so eloquently TREASURER ISLAND has left for good in December 2020. Where are they going to find it? The truth is they will not be able to find it, that €9.4 billion will become more like €3.4 billion or even less. This means France will have to find that money themselves or risk the wrath of French farmers which won't be a pretty sight. Coupled with the wrath of the French fishermen France will face certain turmoil and riots like it's not seen since the French Revolution. No wonder Macron came to see Johnson.

Sources: European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development | ONS



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.