Agriculture: Basic Farm Payment — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:56 pm on 10th November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Willoughby de Broke Lord Willoughby de Broke UKIP 2:56 pm, 10th November 2015

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for that rather limited Answer. He will recognise that the majority can be 50.01%, and that is not remotely satisfactory for most farmers at a time when they are very hard pressed. The European Commission—our masters in Brussels—have graciously permitted member states to make advance payments to their farmers ahead of the basic payment scheme full payments. Could he explain to the House why Defra has not taken up this option, at a time when British farmers have their backs to the wall?