THE UK CONTINUES TO SUBSIDISE FRENCH FARMERS

Graham Charles Lear
4 min readFeb 18, 2019

France receives 2.5 times as much as UK from EU Agricultural budget

Let's look at one aspect of the amazing story of how the third-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. The latest population stats for 2018 from Eurostat show 65.8 million for the UK and 67.0 million for France. One significant area of difference is that France still retains a sizeable rural economy, subsidized by the French State and particularly by those few EU countries such as the UK who are net contributors.

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.

Look at how much French farmers receive

French Farmers receive the largest EU subsidy of all the EU countrys. They receive a whopping €10.0 billion. Yes, when it comes to agriculture the French farmers are well looked after.

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

In 2017 alone, the EU spent €59 billion on the CAP

France received almost €10.0 billion of this

That is an enormous sum of money — and this was only in one year.

If you want to compare what our British farmers get with what the French get then you will be shocked to find that they receive just €3,9 billion. Incredibly, rich France received over one-sixth of the EU’s entire Common Agricultural Policy subsidies in 2017, with a grand total of €9,671,247,000 (9.7 billion) Euros. In other words, France receives over 2.5 times more rural and agricultural payments from the EU than the UK.

We see the EU for what it really is — red in tooth and claw, to use an analogy from nature.

By contrast, we see, hear and read Remainer 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.

“ We often hear Remainers say to voters. YOU didn’t know what they were voting for” well Remainer MPs certainly didn’t and still don’t

Unfortunately, the ignorance of Remainer MPs doesn’t stop them lecturing the British people as if they actually knew what they were talking about. Day after day Leavers produce 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 28 EU countries.

This information came from the EU itself. It’s up-to-date — or as up-to-date as the EU ever is. Remainer MPs 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. So will they? I very much doubt that they will.

Poor France?

Let me show you how much France pays into the EU like everyone else has to do.

Total French contribution to the EU budget: € 16.234 billion

Total EU spending in France: € 13.505 billion

So we see France paying into the EU coffers € 16.234 billion which at first glance seems quite a lot

However, we see them get back €13.505 billion. Nearly €10 billion goes right to the farmers to keep them happy.

In their own words, the EU says this about the payment system.

Member countries’ financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country’s economy, the more it pays — and vice versa. The EU budget doesn’t aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.

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 subsidize their agriculture and rural economies, (something which the British government will do post-Brexit), let them do it themselves.

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Graham Charles Lear

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