Labour MEP for Munster, and Member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament, Phil Prendergast, has announced her intention to vote against the EU’s budget 2014-2020 if the budget for the Common Agricultural Policy is not maintained.
The Tipperary-based MEP said “I am absolutely concerned that the European Council will seek to make cuts to the CAP budget. These budget cuts have been sought in the UK in particular, largely for domestic political purposes, and not with the greater European good in mind.
“If these cuts go ahead they will significantly harm Irish farms, their families and local communities by reducing the funding available for direct payments and rural development.
“Since the Lisbon Treaty, the Parliament has gained significant responsibility in these budget negotiations. Parliament has said that it wants the MFF budget to be at least maintained, if not increased to correspond with an increase in inflation.
“If the Council, and in particular Prime Minister David Cameron, refuse to do this, then I believe that Parliament should exercise its veto. This would mean that the budgets would be maintained at the 2013 ceiling level which is significantly ahead of what Mr Cameron is proposing.
“In many ways the European Parliament holds the balance of power on this issue and I hope that we will exercise that power for the greatest good of farmers, their families and their communities across the EU.”