The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has expressed its concern with the slow Brexit planning process and of the apparent lack co-operation between Governments.
“From the very day after the referendum we have been making some very important points time and time again to ensure that farmers and by implication the rural economy are not affected by a badly managed Brexit,” said FUW president Glyn Roberts.
The FUW has since the referendum result called for a sensible exit timetable, the creation of a UK wide framework that respects the devolved administrations and tariff-free access to the EU market.
“So today I must declare my disappointment with the way things have been progressing,” said Mr Roberts.
Mr Roberts added that there is still confusion about the timetable that will be expected and that UK Ministers are just beginning to talk about transition or implementation periods, recognising that this will take time.
“With only 20 months to exit, this is gaining in importance each and every day. There is no sign of any discussions for the creation of a Framework for agriculture and nor does there appear to be any indication of when these discussions will begin.
“The EU withdrawal bill does not have any sunset clauses to ensure that devolved powers get to the devolved Governments in a timely fashion. Whilst we do recognise that EU laws cannot at the moment be repatriated directly to Cardiff and that some “centralisation” may well be needed to develop new trade arrangements, it is vital that we are clear when the UK Government will transfer powers to the devolved governments. And under what limiting controls,” added Glyn Roberts.
“Our elected representatives must, I repeat must work together to develop answers to high level issues before we can progress in planning for Brexit. We need to understand the detail of a UK home market framework, we need to understand the ambition to support the food and farming industries, we need to know what balance will be recognised in the importance of food production in relation to environmental issues and we need to know who will be ‘in charge’ and by when.
“And of greatest importance, we need to know and be reassured that the two governments concerned are working together for the common good. The farmers of Wales operate in volatile markets and we need to ensure that everything is done to ensure that we protect them whilst also delivering to the standards we have come to accept as normal, and deliver for our environmental benefits.”
See full story in the County Times