22 June 2016

The CAP is destroying Europe

George Monbiot's article today about our old friend, the European Union's corrupt, insane Common Agricultural Policy, does a great job in describing its wastefulness, its transfers from the poor to the very wealthy, and its disastrous environmental depredations.

I am perplexed therefore by his decision to vote for the UK to stay in the EU:
I will vote In on Thursday, as I don’t want to surrender this country to the unmolested control of people prepared to rip up every variety of public spending and public protection except those that serve their own class. But if we are to live in Remainia, we should insist on sweeping change. Daylight robbery and mass destruction: the EU is supposed to prevent them, not to deliver them. Leave well alone, George Monbiot, 'the Guardian', 22 June
Why Mr Monbiot thinks the EU is suddenly going to reverse itself and dismantle the CAP - which still swallows up 40 percent of the EU budget - is a mystery to me. It has been four decades since, as undergraduate agricultural economists, we learned about the CAP's calamitous impacts. In those 40 years the unelected EU decision-makers have shown themselves to be incapable of responding to economic, social or environmental rationality. Which is why I think Britons would do better to vote to leave the EU in tomorrow's referendum. Yes, as Mr Monbiot points out, the Leave campaigners have promised to keep subsidizing UK farmers. But if Britons don't like that policy, they can vote to change it. They still have a say in who become Members of the British Parliament, and they can vote against stupid, cynical, wasteful and destructive policies. But the people who make EU policy? We don't even know who they are or how they got there. And we certainly can't get rid of them.

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