Farming and CAP
It was the nation's first-ever national referendum and the result was a resounding "Yes" to stay in the European Economic Community.
That was back in 1975, and I was one of the millions who voted to stay in the EEC. No mention then, of course, of a European Union mega state.
So while I hanker for a return to the pre-Maastricht status quo, and although I am far from fully convinced of its case, I cannot help but sympathise with much that emanates from UKIP, an organisation that now, at least, seems to understand farming a good deal better than it did previously.
Much of this is due to Stuart Agnew MEP, the UKIP agriculture spokesman, a Norfolk farmer and a member of the European Parliament's agriculture committee.
He has just sounded off in a debate, opining that: "the EU has become far too big to have a Common Agricultural Policy."
He said: "We are looking at countries which have 350 horsepower tractors vs countries that have draft oxen. We are looking at a latitude that extends 200 miles north of the Arctic circle, down to the bottom corner of Cyprus. Personally, I don't think it is viable, particularly with all the different languages involved."
He was equally critical of the fact the UK is such a large contributor to the EU budget. "In the UK we are the second largest net contributor to the budget and it worries me that we have so little control over how that money is spent."
Mr Agnew was characteristically blunt in his criticism of the set aside and greening measures that are being proposed in the CAP reform package. He voiced his opposition to any additional set aside, with grain prices at £200 per tonne. He dismissed the greening measures as: "all this touchy feely business".
He added: "I'm very worried that farmers are supposed to be able to change the climate. I think this is utter nonsense. I disagree entirely that CO2 levels have anything to do with the way our climate works. I believe that the climate is influenced by solar cycles, lunar cycles, jet streams and ocean currents."
He described renewable energy as a "scam or Ponzi scheme of monumental proportions", adding: "Farmers like it when they are paid huge subsidies to have wind turbines or solar panels on their land. Many of them still think that these subsidies come from the taxpayer.
Actually, they don't. They come from electricity consumers, who may well be very poor, individually. So what we are seeing is a reverse of the Robin Hood principle. We are robbing the poor to pay the rich. It is absolutely disgraceful."
Punchy, headline-grabbing stuff, voicing what a lot of people think. But does it have any substance?
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