Defra has recently released some interesting data on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which shows that CAP cost us £17billion in 2009 and that the total value of UK agricultural output was £15.5billion. Remember this is income, not profit; the actual profit from farming was just over £4billion.
Data from Defra also shows that the UK fishing industry’s 6000 vessels landed 588,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish in 2008, worth £629m. This maintained approximately 12,000 direct jobs. But the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) gets a staggering £3.3 billion from us – almost five times the value of our market. Remember also that fishing boats are banned from bringing home fish that exceed their quotas, even if they are caught accidentally, resulting in 880,000 tonnes of dead fish being dumped into the North Sea every year. Now witness the opening of the Defra marine website above, which states that "Global fish stocks are under pressure and fishing is threatening or damaging marine ecosystems."
politicos mad hatters maintain that membership of the EU has obvious benefits, but refuses to carry out a cost/benefit analysis. The last one done, back in 2008, by Gerard Batten for the Bruges Group found the financial cost for Britain was over £55billion - and that was then! Fast forward and perhaps the student's protest yesterday was aimed at the wrong target? Perhaps our pensioners, elderly, disabled and vulnerable could be looked after in the manner they should? Perhaps we could even have aircraft on our aircraft carriers?
As an aside, we are continually harangued to keep fit and one of the methods suggested is long walks. As I hate the present political class, might I suggest they take a walk as I am reminded of a quotation by Fred Allen (1894-1956), which offers an alternative dismissal to 'Foxtrot Oscar':
"I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."
H/T: The Slog for pointing me to the Defra release.