Defra Secretary’s comments welcomed…but more clarity is still needed
Comments made by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove that is it “overwhelmingly likely” the industry will have tariff-free trade access to EU markets post-Brexit have been welcomed.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Cymru did, however, stress that greater clarity is needed around the make-up of trade negotiations before Welsh farmers can truly step forward with confidence in making decisions that will affect their businesses in the future.
NFU Cymru officeholders and staff met with Michael Gove MP and Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP, at the Royal Welsh Show yesterday to discuss the major issues affecting the industry in the future.
‘Anxiously awaiting more concrete assurances’
NFU Cymru president John Davies said: “We cautiously welcome the comments made from Mr Gove yesterday and his optimism around future trading relationships with the EU.
“However, Welsh farmers will be waiting anxiously for more concrete assurances and clarity on these statements before pushing on with decisions that will influence the future direction of their businesses.
“We are most grateful to Mr. Gove and Mr. Cairns for giving up their time to meet with us yesterday. Our meeting provided us with the opportunity to stress that farmers in Wales have a real hunger and desire to be the best in the world and they are up for this challenge provided they are given the right conditions to prosper in the future.
If Mr. Gove’s positive comments at the Royal Welsh Show come to fruition that gives the industry a good platform to drive on and succeed.
Following the meeting, Mr Gove and Mr Cairns signed the NFU Cymru #WeAreWelshFarming pledge board to show their support for Welsh farmers and wrote a statement stating what they associate with the agricultural industry in Wales.
Mr. Gove wrote ‘The finest food from the most beautiful land’, while Mr. Cairns penned ‘The highest standards and the greatest diversity and the cleanest environment’.
Assurances on funding after Brexit
Meanwhile, members of the Farmers Union Wales are seeking next steps on funding assurances from Secretaries of State.
In a special meeting with Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns and Defra Secretary Michael Gove the Farmers’ Union of Wales has highlighted the need for further clarity on how agricultural funding will be allocated to Wales after Brexit.
Speaking after the meeting, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Both Secretaries of State have provided assurances that Wales will receive the same allocation of agricultural funding until 2022, and that this would take place outside the Barnett Formula.
“We now need the next steps in terms of seeing the technical details of how this will take.
This is the last Royal Welsh Show before we exit the European Union. There are less than eight months to go but actually, we have even less time than that.
“Budgets need to be finalised by October at the very latest and for that we need to know more details about how money will be allocated.”