NFU Cymru has welcomed a report and recommendations by the Welsh Affairs Committee on the implications of a UK Australia Free Trade Agreement for Wales.

The report, published after two evidence sessions held in July, calls for the UK Government to take a number of steps the union says would increase transparency around the deal and its impacts for Wales and clarify what, if any, safeguards would be in place in worst case scenarios that adversely impacted UK agriculture.

In a position statement, NFU Cymru said: “NFU Cymru has consistently argued that the impacts and implications of prospective trade deals should be properly understood, with checks, balances and safeguards built into them, and so there is much that we can support in the Welsh Affairs Committee report.

“In particular we endorse the recommendation that the UK Government should publish a Wales-specific impact assessment for free trade agreements, including the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“We are deeply concerned that this trade deal, and the precedent it sets, will risk adversely affecting the future viability of our sector. Our rural communities are also strongholds of Welsh language and culture, things which are important to our sense of national identity, but which will also be at risk if we get this wrong.

“NFU Cymru very much shares the committee’s concern that the statutory Trade and Agriculture Commission is not yet up and running and we are keen to see it established as soon as possible.

“We need a deep and meaningful examination by parliamentarians of all future trade deals that the UK Government seeks to enter into, and this process must include the opportunity for MPs to properly consider the report of the statutory Trade and Agriculture Commission on the impact on animal welfare and agriculture of each and every trade deal that the UK Government wishes to ratify.”