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Liz Lynne welcomes European Parliament support for Lib Dem plan to reform CAP

July 14, 2010 5:24 PM
Originally published by Liz Lynne
Liz Lynne MEP helping out at a farm in Shropshire

Liz Lynne, who spent some years living on a farm as a child, strongly supports a reformed and efficient CAP to protect our food supply

West Midlands Euro MP Liz Lynne has welcomed the overwhelming support of the European Parliament for a Lib Dem blueprint to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Meeting in Strasbourg at their last plenary session before the summer recess, MEPs supported a report drawn up by her colleague George Lyon, Lib Dem MEP for Scotland, with detailed proposals to make the CAP more sustainable, fairer and greener.

Liz Lynne, who was English and Welsh farming spokesman for the Lib Dems in the Parliament until George Lyon took on the brief after the election last year, said the majority vote to support the report was a great step forward.

She said: "We have been pushing for reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy for years. Getting Parliament to support this own initiative report is a significant achievement.

"Farmers across the West Midlands region need an efficient CAP that cuts out pointless bureaucracy but promotes sustainability, a secure food supply and fair and transparent administration.

"We need to do more to support green but productive farming that respects our environment but using less money, so waste and red tape must be cut back.

"For too long the CAP has been the prisoner of a few powerful special interests and has damaged the reputation of the EU. People paid lip service to reform but until now it was difficult to get agreement on practical proposals. The Lib Dems have broken the log jam.

"We have resisted attempts by some to water down reform. The report has a strong mandate for real change and it is significant that so many of the main party groups in the European Parliament have supported it.

"This report will help to shape the debate and set the agenda in the crucial final stages of agreeing a progressive way forward for Europe's farmers."

Mr Lyon's report now forms the basis of the European Parliament's position on CAP reform as debate on the issue moves to the European Commission and the Council of Ministers. The Commission is due to publish final proposals on the future of the CAP in November.