Plaid Cymru has called on the interests of Welsh Agriculture to be secured in any future Westminster Government trade deals, with any UK agricultural framework to be agreed on by all the UK’s nations.
Following the decision to leave the European Union, there will be significant changes to agriculture; and rural affairs funding and protections across the UK over the next few years. This could include changes to regulatory frameworks, policies and possible replacement of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Writing an article in response to the findings of a Plaid Cymru consultation with the rural affairs sector last summer on the effect of Brexit on Agriculture, Plaid Cymru’s shadow Secretary for Rural Affairs, Energy and Climate Change, Simon Thomas has written:
“We need the right regulatory framework and policies to minimise as much as possible the harm caused to the sector by leaving the European Union. Wales can compete on the quality of its food and drink but it cannot compete on price. It is a real concern that the Westminster Government’s trade deals will result in tariffs being imposed on Wales’ food and drink exports and in cheap imports flooding the UK market.
“Plaid Cymru’s view is that the interests of Wales’ agricultural sector would be best served through continued participation in the Single Market and it must avoid tariff barriers.”
Commenting on a potential future UK framework for agriculture, Simon Thomas AM said:
“After leaving the EU, we require a UK framework agreed by all four nations on an equal basis with as much freedom as possible for different approaches. Wales’ landscape, geography, climate, culture and language are very different to those in other parts of the UK and that’s why an equal, four nations approach is necessary
“The Westminster Government owes the agricultural sector the same level of funding after leaving the EU as is currently delivered under the CAP. The Welsh Government must also commit to using this funding to support agriculture and the rural economy.
Simon Thomas AM also said:
“The Party of Wales would like to see links between farming, the wider rural economy and communities strengthened. Improved infrastructure, services and opportunities throughout rural areas and supporting the agricultural sector are interlinked”