Common Agricultural Policy

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on the Common Agricultural Policy and agricultural subsidies. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

03.07.2014Common Agricultural Policy Reforms 2014-2020: Implementation Decisions in the UK
14.01.2014Agricultural incomes and subsidies: Social Indicators page
Agricultural incomes and subsidies: Social Indicators page. By Oliver Hawkins and Rachael Harker. SN/SG/2613.
14.08.2013CAP Reform 2014-2020: Reaching Agreement
Political agreement was reached on the major elements of the reform of the Common Agriculural Policy for 2014-2020 on 26 June 2013. This note sets out the main elements of the agreement with stakeholder comment. Some issues are still being discussed at European level following overall EU budget agreements and the flexibility of the reform deal means that key implmenentation decisions are to follow in the UK.
06.07.2012Milk prices from 2005
This note describes how dairy farmers faced low prices for several years but saw some improvement in 2007 and 2008.
18.06.2012Agriculture - CAP Reforms
This note describes the European Commission proposals to amend the Common Agricultural Policy and comments upon it from interested parties.

Research Papers

30.10.2014CAP reform 2014-20: EU Agreement and Implementation in the UK and in Ireland (updated)
CAP reform 2014-2020 has been agreed and is now being implemented. This paper sets out stakeholder reaction and key implementation decisions for the four countries of the UK, and also of Ireland. It updates the November 2013 version which was prepared as government consultations on implementation were still on-going.
19.05.2003Enlargement and the European Union (Accessions) Bill (Bill 98 of 2002/03)
Enlargement and the European Union (Accessions) Bill. (Bill 98 of 2002/03). House of Commons Library Research Paper 03/48.

Select Committee Reports

08.11.2011Subsidiarity assessment: distribution of food products to deprived persons.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
29.06.2011Common Agricultural Policy after 2013.
Government response. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
28.06.2011Innovation in EU Agriculture.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
05.04.2011Common Agricultural Policy after 2013.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
27.10.2010Subsidiarity assessment: distribution of food products to deprived persons.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]

Early Day Motions

That this House notes the contents of The Great Cotton Stitch-Up Report from the Fairtrade Foundation which outlines that the EU has given farmers over five billion euros over the last ...
That this House expresses disappointment at the continuing subsidy by the European Union of tobacco cultivation to the tune of some 260 million each year despite the many more millions ...
That this House notes that the National Audit Office has raised questions about the efficiency of the Rural Payments Agency when making Common Agricultural Policy payments to farmers; ...
That this House believes that trade is often better than aid for developing countries and is a powerful driver of growth, positive development, elimination of corruption and poverty ...

POST Papers

12.09.2013Reversing Insect Pollinator Decline
Pollination by insects enables the reproduction of flowering plants and is critical to UK agriculture. Insect pollinators have declined globally, with implications for food security and wild habitats. This POSTnote summarises the causes for the recent trends, gaps in knowledge and possible strategies for reversing pollinator decline.
05.09.2012Balancing Nature and Agriculture
This POSTnote explores two approaches to managing land for balancing nature conservation with sustainable food production. Land sharing integrates the objectives of agriculture and benefits to wildlife on the same land. Land sparing on the other hand separates intensive farming areas from protected natural habitats at larger scales.
15.03.2012Livestock Super Farms
This POSTnote examines the current issues surrounding intensification of livestock production in the UK.
01.05.2010EU fisheries management, May 2010
This POSTnote describes challenges to ecosystem-based fisheries management and how these might be tackled. A recent European Commission green paper on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy reconfirms the need to adopt an ecosystem approach.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses

UK Parliament committee