Brexiteer James Dyson’s farming business only managed to make a profit in the last year because it benefited from EU subsidies, it has been reported.
Beeswax Dyson Farming posted £3.4 million pre-tax profits last year, the Times reports, up from £2.7 million in 2018.
But without a £3.4 million cash injection from the EU’s common agricultural policy it would have only broken even, the newspaper reports.
The entrepreneur has focused on sustainable food production – which includes a £13 million project in Lincolnshire to grow strawberries out of season.
However, the company defended the use of the subsidy, pointing out the funding is not new for this particular year, and that the amount of investment from Dyson is significantly greater than what it receives from the EU.
A Dyson spokesperson said: “Sir James Dyson is a net contributor to the EU budget and the cost of meeting the criteria required for any environmental payments is twice what we receive. The £113m we have invested into the farms dwarfs any subsidy payments and enables efficient and high-quality sustainable food production. As a result, Beeswax Dyson is the first large-scale commercial farm to be carbon neutral.”
The EU’s subsidies will last until the end of the transition period – but the government has insisted it will continue to subsidise them until the end of 2022.
In 2016, advocating Brexit, Dyson complained that the EU “protect vested interests”.
He said: “We will create more wealth and more jobs by being outside the EU. We will be in control of our destiny. And control, I think, is the most important thing in life and business.”