In the first week of the consultation on the next CAP, battle lines are already being drawn in Brussels by the competing interests. That is before the often fractious nature of discussions within agriculture itself really take place.

The skill that will be required to deliver a meaningful CAP reform for farmers will be EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan’s ability to build the alliances necessary to get the deal past his colleagues in environment and climate change whom it will be necessary to have on board in order to persuade the rest of the Commission. After that, co-decision making means the parliament has to be brought on board and the council of ministers is the final arbiter that has to be convinced.