To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent advice she has received on the phasing out of direct subsidy payments to farmers in the UK.
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend Mrs Spelman, and I receive regular representations from both officials and stakeholders, and are in discussions with European and Devolved Administration counterparts on the subject of direct payments.
In addition, the UK Government consulted on the Commission's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform communication, prior to publishing its response document in January 2011. We were very keen to hear what stakeholders thought after publication of the regulatory proposals on
The UK Government is committed to the gradual reduction of direct support under Pillar 1 and a CAP that moves away from market-distorting subsidies while helping to build the capacity, competitiveness, productivity and resilience of EU farmers. We are committed to an increasing focus on actions under Pillar 2, providing environmental public goods that the market cannot deliver.