The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a €58bn (R951bn) system of farm aid that accounts for the bloc’s biggest single budget expense. And it has long been a punching bag for Eurosceptics.

For years the UK media has excoriated the “wine lakes” and “butter mountains” supported by EU money. Even after the production quotas went away, critics accused the EU of trade protectionism meant to squeeze rivals. The EU’s defence is that the system is more market-orientated and eco-friendly than it used to be...

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