Martina Anderson MEP has stressed the urgency to make progress of the CAP reform. Speaking from Brussels, the Sinn Féin MEP said, “Despite the optimism of the Simon Covney, it is looking increasingly difficult for the Irish Presidency to achieve their goal of concluding the CAP reform under their mandate.

“Feedback from this week’s informal Agricultural Council have shown that there are sill many areas, such as capping and convergence, in which Council and Parliament disagree, this in addition to the growing displeasure from the farming unions should be sending out warning signs.

“As the negotiations continue, many from the parliament’s side feel there is little good will coming from the council, who refuse to compromise on many core issues, such as flexibility. This could lead to the negotiations stagnating, and becoming even more complex and technical, which would be very dangerous at this point in the game.

“I and many others will be waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of the June meetings; many are still relying on the package being presented for an agreement at this meeting, and a failure to do this would be a severe blow for the whole process.