This particular episode of the soap opera is about the reform of CAP.
The European Commission has been warned not to return to protectionism during a debate on 8 July on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).Or in other words, CAP has, as some of us told Conservative politicians and activists, been sewn up until 2013. What changes there might be after that will be decided on the basis of those plans the Commission will produce in November that will then be discussed and traded back and forth until the final compromise (mostly in one or two countries' favour) will be reached. Then we shall hear table thumping and strong statements from whichever government will be in place in the UK and assurances that the CAP cannot go on as it is and must be reformed.
The debate was held ahead of the publication of formal reform plans by the Commission in November, of how the CAP should be financed after 2013.
The European Parliament's rapporteur on the issue, British Liberal Democrat MEP George Lyon, said that market volatility needed to be dealt with, but that that shouldn't mean a return to "widescale management" of the markets.
The Agriculture Committee has already published a report saying that funding for the CAP after 2013 should be "at least maintained" and kept on an EU level, rather than being returned to national governments.
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