There are reports and newspaper coverage this morning on the upcoming EU budget. I refer in particular to comments by the budget Commissioner, Günther Oettinger on the requirement for cuts in the EU budget as a result of Brexit and also for cuts in the CAP budget or, alternatively, that other finances would be found to plug the hole following the UK leaving the EU.
It is estimated that between 7% and 9% of the CAP will be lost as a result of the United Kingdom leaving the EU. It is crucial from the point of view or rural Ireland and the farming community, where 70% of net incomes are made up from European payments, that we do not see a reduction in that budget. Could the Tánaiste give a commitment that the Government supports maintaining the budget and ensuring there is not a reduction in CAP payments following Brexit?