• THE EUROPEAN Commission is doing its best not to alienate farmer voters in the UK in the run up to the June referendum. This is part of the reason for the farm commissioner Phil Hogan mounting something of a charm offensive in support of the CAP.

  • AS COMMISSIONERS go, it would be hard to come across one more genial than the farm commissioner, Phil Hogan. He has the easy style of someone who cut his teeth in Irish politics, and when dealing with farmers has the bonus of having grown up on a family dairy farm.

  • DESPITE the gloss people sometimes try to put on it, in reality there is little prospect of farmers and environmentalist activists ever seeing eye to eye. 

  • IF THERE are ever sweets on the table of a European Commission meeting, there could be only one possible choice.

  • AS MILK production peaks across Europe, some depressing facts are becoming even more stark.

  • PREPARE over the coming weeks to learn a lot more about South America and in particular the Mercosur countries negotiating a new trade deal with Europe.

  • Since pollsters got the Scottish referendum and General Election result so wrong we have all become distrustful of surveys. 

  • IT IS tempting to conclude that if some members of the European Parliament entered a team in an international contest, they would want their players to have one hand tied behind their back. 
  • GENERALLY when the Irish are in charge of agricultural events in Brussels, things go well.

  • THE PACKAGE that emerged in Brussels this week was a classic curate's egg, in that it was good in parts.