Agriculture ‘litmus test’ for Tory Brexit government

Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for Wales’ agricultural sector to be protected during UK government Brexit negotiations.

It follows a meeting between farm union leaders and Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesmen Roger Williams and William Powell.

A third of Wales’ population live in rural areas where farming and agricultural supply chain businesses are the backbone of local economies.

In towns and villages across rural Wales, it is estimated that around 10% of workers are employed in agriculture, around 14% of those employed outside the public sector.

Welsh Liberal Democrat rural affairs spokesman William Powell said: “Farmers are rightly concerned about what Brexit means for the future of agriculture in Wales.

“The EU Single Market provides tariff-free access to EU markets and access to non-UK labour, which are both essential in delivering a fair and prosperous economy for every corner of Wales.

“Tory plans for Britain to withdraw from the Single Market risk causing irreparable damage to the agricultural industry in Wales, threatening the livelihoods of families across rural Wales.

“Agriculture will be the litmus test for Theresa May’s Brexit government – will her negotiating position be driven by delivering an economy that creates opportunity for all, or be driven by ideology?”

Welsh Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Roger Williams said: “The British people were denied any detail on what Brexit would mean for our communities and our nation, so it would only be right for the British people to have a vote on the final deal.

“A £220 billion black hole in our public finances will be absolutely devastating for our economy, and no more so for those families and households struggling to get by.

“Our economy, our businesses, and our workers are better off in the Single Market, which is why the Liberal Democrats will oppose Tory plans that will risk economic prosperity for Wales.”

(Source: Welsh Liberal Democrats)

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