Many of us will have watched the G7 leaders come together in Cornwall a few weeks ago to discuss a myriad of issues, writes Bryn Francis of the FUW.

While the official focus was on tackling the covid pandemic, climate change and concerns over Russia and China, the PM came under huge pressure over his proposal to break international law by failing to honour the Northern Ireland Protocol he agreed to and implemented just months ago.

Wanting to break an international treaty just months after it has come into effect because warnings about implications and the need to prepare were ignored shows just how careful governments should be when signing international agreements.

Just such an agreement was the focus of talks between the UK and Australian PMs in the periphery of the G7, in the form of a UK-Australia trade deal.

For Welsh farmers, the details of what might be in such a deal have been a major concern for months, given the lower production standards and costs in Australia.

But UK Government ministers’ and spokespersons’ have claimed we needn’t worry because Australia is unlikely to make use of whatever quota for food imports they are given and that safeguards would be put in place.

In recent weeks, the FUW has held back-to-back meetings with ministers, MPs and others about the deal.

If the concerns expressed by the FUW and many others are not realised then fine. But if they turn out to be right, be it in two or 10 years, and we are locked into an irreversible deal with only rudimentary safeguards, there will be little a government or parliament will be able to do without taking drastic action that may breach WTO rules.

For this reason, whatever the final deal looks like we need a belt and braces mechanism such as a break clause that, if the worst comes to the worst, allows the UK Government or Parliament to step in to protect our family farms and our global environment.