Guardian

Andrea Leadsom has been handed a hospital pass with the role of environment secretary, and not just because it is viewed as one of the less prestigious jobs in the cabinet. Farmers today get £2.4-3bn a year from the EU in subsidies – the amount varies on exchange rates – through the common agricultural policy (CAP).

Whatever British Agricultural Policy (BAP) comes next – and the National Farmers Union is already canvassing views on which this should look like -Leadsom will have the thankless task of lobbying the Treasury to replace those subsidies. They’re essential to prop up farmers, as the CAP payments made up 55% of an average farmers’ income of around £20,000 in 2014.

Controversially, and perhaps worryingly for farmers, Leadsom also appears to have argued in the past for the end of farming subsidies. “Subsidies must be abolished,” she wrote in a 2007 article on how to rejuvenate British farming.

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