UK continues to subsidise French farmers, four years after Brexit vote

LATEST: France received 2.5 times as much in EU farm subsidies as the UK last year

© L'Elysée

Brexit Facts4EU analyses the latest numbers just issued by the EU Commission

The French still go ‘CAP in hand’ to the EU for subsidies after 62 years of EEC/EU membership.

Here, Brexit Facts4EU.Org looks at one aspect of the amazing story of how the second-richest EU economy has played the EU benefits system for decades and got away with it, taking billions per year in subsidies for its inefficient farming sector.

The UK’s economy is slightly larger than that of France, but its population is smaller. One significant area of difference is that France still retains a sizeable rural economy, subsidised by the French State and particularly by those few EU countries such as the UK who are net contributors. (The UK is of course still paying in.)

For decades France has fiercely protected one of the first features of what was originally the EEC or ‘Common Market’ – that of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It has done so because it is by far the biggest beneficiary of what are effectively subsidies for running an inefficient agricultural sector.

Look at how much French farmers receive

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary


© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2020

  • Over the past 10 years the EU has been spending 40% of its budget on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
  • In 2019 alone, the EU says it spent €54.5 billion on the CAP
  • France received €9.4 billion of this
  • That is an enormous sum of money – and this was only in the last year

Incredibly, rich France received almost one-sixth of the EU's entire Common Agricultural Policy subsidies in 2019, with a grand total of €9,439,521,000 (9.4 billion) Euros.

This made it the recipient of by far the biggest EU subsidy.

With the UK receiving just €3.9 billion Euros, this means:

France has been receiving over 2.5 times more rural and agricultural payments from the EU than the UK


Brexit Facts4EU.Org deals in the reality of the EU – including the way the EU gets money from the few net contributor member states such as the UK, and the way it spends that money. We look at the way decisions are made and at the nature of those decisions.

In short, we see the EU for what it really is.

By contrast, for years we have seen, heard and read Remainer-Rejoiner politicians and commentators in the UK on a daily basis, talking about what they think the EU is and does. They present a happy valley where ‘all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds’, as the French philosopher Voltaire had it. Alas, they are all sadly deluded.

“Voters didn’t know what they were voting for” – Remainer MPs certainly didn’t and don’t

Unfortunately, the ignorance of Remainer-Rejoiner MPs and campaigners doesn’t stop them lecturing the British people as if they actually knew what they were talking about. Day after day we produce solid evidence such as that above, showing that the EU is profoundly dysfunctional, undemocratic, warped in its thinking, and unrepresentative of the peoples of the individual member countries.

All of the data we researched to produce this article came from the EU itself. It’s up-to-date – or as up-to-date as the EU ever is. Remainer-Rejoiner MPs and campaigners can’t simply dismiss information like this. They have to face it, and then tell the British people why they still think that the voters got it wrong four years ago this week.

Poor France?

What justification can you think of, for why France should receive by far the largest agricultural and rural subsidies in the EU? Come to that, what justification can you think of for any agricultural subsidies to be collected and distributed by the EU at all?

If countries like France want to subsidise their agriculture and their rural economies, (something which the British government will do post-Brexit), let them do it themselves.

Finally, the work involved in producing real information like that above is considerable. Please help us to keep going, with a donation today.

[ Sources: European Commission, Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development | ONS ]

Thur 25 June 2020

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