Situation for UK growers unchanged until Brexit complete, says Commissioner

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has reminded farmers that they will continue to have the same rights and obligations under EU law until the UK's withdrawal is completed.

Image: USDA (CC BY 2.0)
Image: USDA (CC BY 2.0)

Speaking at the NFU/CLA stand at the Kent County Show today (8 July), he said: "I want to send a clear message to farmers in the UK that, as long as the UK remains a full member of the EU, farmers will continue to have full access to the CAP support schemes and to the EU internal market for agricultural products. They are likewise expected to continue meeting their obligations and responsibilities."

On the question of returns to farmers and growers, he said: "I am constantly being reminded of the shortcomings in the food chain whereby it seems increasingly that all actors, other than the farmer, are getting a fair share. I keep saying that without the farmer, we don't have the product.

"While it is important that consumers have choice, it's equally important that get a fair return for their work. I have been working to see how the position of the farmer can be strengthened. I have established a Task Force which is looking at the issue and, particularly, at legislative models that exist in the EU."

And on the contentious issue of glyphosate re-registration, he said: "The Commission has now acted by proposing an extension until six months from the date of receipt of the opinion of the Committee for Risk Assessment of the European Chemicals Agency by the Commission or 31 December 2017, whichever is earlier.

"This may not be an ideal outcome for users of the products, but I hope that it gives some comfort that the Commission has acted to ensure their continued availability."

Hogan, who had spoken of his desire to see the UK remain in the EU during the run-up to the Brexit referendum, added: "I am disappointed that the UK has chosen to take this course of action, but I respect the decision taken."

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