The common agricultural policy (CAP) pushes up the price of food for consumers. (See section 2.1.6. for further discussion of the CAP and food prices.) It also shuts out large swathes of the developing world from free trade, meaning we subsidise farmers in Europe while keeping farmers outside of Europe poor.
This costs taxpayers twice, as the EU gives out a significant amount of money in aid to subsistence farmers to try and compensate for the protectionist policy. In a research paper for the TaxPayers’ Alliance in 2009, Lee Rotherham found that the CAP cost the UK £10.3 billion, or £398 per household. 111 British farmers get a raw deal from the CAP too, with more farmland than some recipient countries but fewer grants.
Pulling out of the CAP, spending the money agriculture already receives and cutting our fee to the EU in proportion to its spending on the CAP would save around £2.8 billion a year.
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