Angry farmers tear down statue of British industrialist outside EU parliament – latest updates

One of the historic sculptures on Place du Luxembourg, Brussels which was dismantled by farmers Credit: Yves Rouyet (@YvesRouyet)

A statue raised in tribute to a British industrialist has been pulled down as farmers protest in front of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The “steelworker” is part of the monument to John Cockerill, the steel baron who helped transform Belgium into a 19th-century industrial titan. It has been previously targeted by Extinction Rebellion activists.

A thousand tractors descended on Brussels this morning as farmers from across Europe headed to the Belgian capital to protest the bloc’s environmental regulations and net zero ambitions.

While demonstrations have largely been peaceful, tensions rose yesterday as 79 farmers were arrested for storming the Rungis international market in France.

French PM: We need to protect farmers from ‘the law of the jungle’

Gabriel Attal, the French prime minister, has said he wants to protect agriculture “against the law of the jungle” by increasing farmers’ income while relaxing standards.

He also called for restoring “value” to French food via “clear European legislation” on synthetic meat, which “does not correspond to our conception of French food”.

Some €150 million will be paid to breeders in the summer who need financial assistance

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