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Mythbuster: French farmers gain most from EU policy

Problems over the European Union Common Agricultural Policy featured large in the run-up to the Brexit referendum but, despite claims that French farmers benefited the most, figures show that British farmers get more per head than French farmers do.

An average of €21,654 each was paid out to British farmers in 2017 while French farmers received an average of €21,198.

The European Union says it supports farmers with 38% of its budget, but it makes up only 1% of all public expenditure in the EU, less than 30 centimes a day for each EU citizen.

Its CAP fact sheets for 2017 show a total of €58.89billion  was paid out in agricultural subsidies across the EU as a whole.

Of this, France got €9.67bn – and no other country came close; Spain was second with €6.80bn, Ger­many third with €6.45bn. The UK got €3.92bn.

Under the heading “direct aid to producers” the French sum falls to €7.36bn, with this being paid to 347,410 producers, giving an average of €21,198 per farmer.

Direct aid to producers in Spain was €5.06bn and this was paid to 729,600 farmers, giving an average of €6,940 per head while in Germany direct aid to producers was €4.85bn with an average of €15,260 for the 317,590 producers.

By comparison, UK farmers received direct aid of €3.085bn going to 142,470 recipients for an average of €21,654 per head.

So overall France receives more Common Agricultural Policy aid than any other EU country, but British farmers claiming aid, averaged more than their French counterparts.

Direct aid to producers across the EU totalled €41.6bn with 6,538,000 farmers getting an average of €6,536.

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