Premium

The horrifying true story of how France used the EU to undermine British agriculture

Charles de Gaulle, who twice vetoed British entry into "Europe" Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Michael Gove’s recent musings about Britain’s post-Brexit farming policy provide an apt cue to recall one of the most curious episodes in the entire history of the EU: the true origins of its notorious Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The shocking story behind this only emerged when, some years back, Richard North and I were researching our history of the EU, The Great Deception. And much else this also helped to explain, from the real reason Charles de Gaulle twice vetoed British entry in the Sixties to why Margaret Thatcher had to battle for our budget rebate in the Eighties.

The official, entirely bogus version has it that the CAP was devised by a benevolent Brussels to guarantee Europe’s “food security” and to save its farmers from the kind of depression they had suffered in the Thirties.

The truth is that, immediately after the war, all Western European countries, including Britain,...

To continue reading this article

Start your free trial of Premium

  • Access all Premium articles 
  • Subscriber-only events 
  • Cancel any time

Free for 30 days

then only £2 per week

Access one Premium article per week

To continue reading this article log in to your Telegraph account. Or register now, it's free.
Registered customers can access one Premium article per week
HALF-PRICE OFFER
Unlimited access to exclusive stories.
Half price for one year.
  • Access all Premium articles
  • Subscriber only events
  • Cancel any time
Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week