The European Union is to charge the UK £107.4m (€127.4 million) as compensation for errors in the allocation of Common Agricultural Policy payments. This is roughly the equivalent of just over 2 days EU membership costs.
The UK will be fined €111.7m due to errors in the processing of applications, in administrative cross checks and in on-the-spot controls with regard to area aid. This fine also penalises the UK for not properly implementing the Land Parcel Identification and Geographic Information Systems (LPIS-GIS). This used for registration of agricultural ‘reference parcels’ (i.e. areas of land) considered eligible for annual Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies to farmers.
A top up fine, for similar “violations”, is to be levied on Northern Ireland to the sum of nearly €18m.
As you can no doubt see, this is remarkably complex and difficult to comprehend.
Of course, these fines would seldom happen if we were an independent country. We could have a simple British farm payment, paid out from Westminster to genuine farmers. That is one example among many policy options. But the point is the government at Westminster would be free to decide. It would have mandate from you, the voters.
But while we’re trapped in the EU, we’re bound by incomprehensible bureaucracy, costing billions per year.