Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) officials discussed the future of family farms in Wales with Jonathan Edwards MP at the Welsh National Sheep Dog trials in Carmarthenshire, highlighting the grave concerns farmers have in light of Brexit.
Amongst the many #farmingmatters discussed, such NVZ’s, bovine TB and the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Land Management consultation, the FUW reiterated its concerns about a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking after the event, FUW Carmarthenshire CEO David Waters said: “ We made it quite clear that the consequences for Wales’ economy of a no-deal Brexit are such that no responsible Government would allow the UK to leave without a deal, and nor would any responsible Parliament agree to this.
“If we are to leave without a deal, the emergency no-deal planning needs to be stepped up – we understand that this is to happen but this in itself highlights the extreme dangers our economy is now facing.”
FUW Vice President Ian Rickman, who runs an upland sheep farm near Llandeilo, added: “The impact of losing our EU export market in the event of a hard Brexit because of tariffs and other barriers would be a disaster. And we are just one of many industries which are looking at losing billions in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Farmers here in Carmarthenshire are worried about their livelihoods.
“Trade deals with countries outside the EU should be pursued of course, but not at the cost of losing access to the affluent market which exists just 20 or 30 miles away over the English channel. The USA and Chinese markets for example are thousands of miles away and are already established for our global competitors, so gaining access will not be easy.”