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Boris Johnson's no-deal Brexit enforcer took R4 million in EU handouts for his farm

Thomas Colson , Business Insider US
 Aug 11, 2019, 04:10 PM
Boris Johnson's plan to suspend parliament to force through Brexit could be illegal
  • Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson's most senior aide who is tasked with delivering Brexit, co-owns a farm which has received R4 million in EU subsidies.
  • Cummings masterminded the Vote Leave campaign to quit the EU and has fiercely criticised the existence of EU subsidies.
  • He once wrote on his blog that subsidies are unfair because "raise prices for the poor to subsidise rich farmers while damaging agriculture in Africa".
  • The Liberal Democrats accused Cummings of 'sheer hypocrisy'.
  • For more visit Business Insider South Africa.

Boris Johnson's most senior adviser, who is a fierce critic of Brussels and has been tasked with delivering Brexit, co-owns a farm which has received R4 million in EU subsidies.

Dominic Cummings, who also masterminded the Vote Leave campaign to quit the EU, faces potential embarrassment from the revelation, which was reported by the Observer.

Since he was appointed as Johnson's special adviser - and handed the office next to the prime minister - Cummings has pitched the mission to leave the EU as a battle between the political elites and the general public, and previously criticised subsidies paid out to British landowners as "absurd."

The Observer's analysis of Land Registry documents and EU subsidy databases found that a farm in Durham, which Cummings jointly owns a farm in Durham with his parents and another person, has received around R345,000 a year for most of the last two decades.

The money was paid out to Cummings's parents and another family member for various reasons, including "set aside," a scheme which pays farmers not to grow anything.

Writing on his blog, Cummings has previously criticised the use of agricultural subsidies because they "raise prices for the poor to subsidise rich farmers while damaging agriculture in Africa".

He also came up with the claim during the EU referendum campaign that the UK sends £350 million to the EU every week. Discussing the claim on his blog, Cummings wrote: "the Treasury gross figure is slightly more than £350m of which we get back roughly half, though some of this is spent in absurd ways like subsidies for very rich landowners to do stupid things".

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP, said: "It shows sheer hypocrisy from Cummings that his farm has raked in hundreds of thousands from the 'absurd subsidies' he so often criticises."

Johnson has pledged to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by October 31 with or without a deal. MPs who are opposed to a no-deal Brexit have threatened to call a confidence vote which collapses Johnson's government before the Brexit deadline.

But Cummings has reportedly warned that Johnson would refuse to resign before Brexit had been delivered at the end of October, and then call a general election.

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