UK tops list of CAP ‘villains’ with £96m fine

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The United Kingdom was yesterday fined €112 million (£96.5m) by the European Commission for failing to adhere to the regulations surrounding the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The good news for Scottish farmers is that almost all the penalty was imposed in England because of failures in their area payments scheme, specifically in the processing of applications, in administrative cross checks and in on-the-spot controls with regard to area aid.

The potentially future bad news for Scottish farmers is under the next CAP direct support will be based on similar area payments.

Northern Ireland was also fined €17.7m for weaknesses in their on-the-spot checks, payments and sanctions with regard to area aid.

In total 22 member states were fined €414m by the commission but the UK penalty was by far the largest. Among others penalised, Italy suffered the second-highest fine of €65m, Spain was charged €440m, Poland €35m and France €29m.