Trade

MP pressed over farm Brexit fears

The Farmers Union of Wales has stressed the need to secure favourable trade deals for the UK following Brexit.

Union members and officials discussed farm Brexit issues with Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire.

FUW deputy president Brian Thomas said favourable trade deals were needed in light of the decision to leave the European Union.

“Agricultural trade is heavily dependent on the EU and although the balance of trade is in favour of the EU, because we produce less than we consume domestically, our exports to the EU are still significant.

“This is especially the case for Welsh agricultural sectors such as lamb, where EU exports are critical to carcase balance and add value to the industry.

“Losing these markets, through the introduction of tariffs or non-tariff barriers would have a potentially massive impact on our industry.

“That leaves us in a very vulnerable position and the dangers of not having an export market is something we have to take seriously.

“Furthermore, we stressed the point that our bovine TB levels here in Wales are well above what would be considered acceptable in any new trade agreement.”

Local farmer Rob Davies, of Tregennis, said the biggest problem was the potential of a hard Brexit.

“Paying WTO tariffs on our exports would halve the price of our lambs, which would be catastrophic.”

Speaking after the visit, Stephen Crabb MP said: “This was an important opportunity to hear first-hand the hopes and concerns of Pembrokeshire farmers about Brexit.

“There is no disguising the fact that agriculture will be one of the most difficult sectors to get agreement on when it comes to negotiating our new relationship with the EU.

“There is a lot of work to do for all MPs who represent farming constituencies to make sure a good deal is struck.

“Listening to our local farmers will be essential in the weeks and months ahead.”

Source: Western Telegraph

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