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Farm subsidy plan ‘risks increasing the UK’s reliance on food imports’

Government scheme to replace EU agricultural payments fuelled by ‘blind optimism’ and still lacking crucial details, say MPs

The government’s plans for a post-Brexit scheme to support British farming are based on little more than “blind optimism” and risk increasing the UK’s reliance on food imports, a parliamentary inquiry has warned.

The EU’s scheme of subsidies – known as the common agricultural policy (CAP) and worth £3bn-a-year to UK farmers – was one of the long-running complaints of Eurosceptics, who saw the ability of Britain to draw up its own scheme of payments as one of the major benefits of Brexit. Ministers had said the new scheme would be used to increase the environmental benefits of agriculture.

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