Farmers and those reliant on agriculture for their income are getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of clarity on the UK’s exit from the European Union and are desperate for stability to continue running their businesses, the Farmers’ Union of Wales has said.
Speaking after yesterday’s (Wednesday 27 February) 10 Downing Street reception, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “We have spent the last couple of days speaking to key figures in the European Commission and Parliament to discuss Brexit and its implications and we have further discussed the worries and concerns of our farmers at the St David’s Day reception at 10 Downing Street.
“The frustrating situation for our members is that they can’t forward plan their business, and the constant changes and proposed amendments to the exit deal are causing a real headache. Nobody knows what is going to happen and we are just 29 days away from supposedly making this exit.
“It is high time that the UK Government revoked Article 50 to protect the nation from a no-deal scenario. France has already indicated that it would object to an extension to Article 50, which leaves us in a vulnerable position.
“Extending the Article 50 period by weeks or months could weaken the UK’s position and merely lead to the UK limping on until the next political crisis and standoff and no-deal is not off the table.
“No responsible government should ever lead a country into the a situation where the police and army are involved in contingency planning for civil unrest, and the most sensible way of taking control over the process is to revoke Article 50 with a view to submitting it once we have a coherent plan that has broad political support.”
The Union President further stressed that, whilst the overall responsibility for stability to the economy remained with the UK Government, Welsh Government also needed to take action to reduce the levels of uncertainty, which are causing unnecessary stress and worry to the agricultural community.
“There is not a single farmer in Wales currently not worried about their export markets, tariffs, the ongoing bovine TB problem and the draconian proposed reshape of home policy.
“Pan-Wales ‘NVZ’ type regulations, plans to abandon direct support and other reforms are doing little to create the stability this sector so desperately needs. I hope those in Welsh Government responsible are feeling the pressure to ensure that our industry does not collapse due to their irresponsible proposals.
“And whilst there is almost total focus on what is or isn’t happening in London, there is much we can do right now here in Wales to ease the pain and uncertainty. I call on both Governments to act in the interests of our farmers and rural economies immediately,” added Glyn Roberts.