On Monday 20th March National farmers union Cymru president Stephen James and head of policy Dylan Morgan presented evidence to MPs as part of an enquiry for the Welsh Affairs Committee discussing the effect of Brexit on agriculture in Wales.
Stephen James stated to MP’s the importance of agriculture to the Welsh economy the key part it plays in Welsh farming. Going on to further say “Agriculture’s contribution to the economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of Wales is unrivalled and should not be underestimated.”
James further went on to say that although Brexit presented many challenges it also presented opportunities and it was important to build and develop a supported, progressive and profitable agricultural policy framework.
If a hard deal was put in place it would see Welsh agriculture move to World Trade Organisation default tariffs which would potentially be damaging. Especially as agriculture is significant to the economies of both mid and north Wales. In Wales farming accounts for 1 in 25 jobs and 90% of produce is exported to EU markets.
Further to this Welsh farming is reliant on EU funding, with £274million annually coming directly from the Common Agricultural Policy. The main issue which will affect future agriculture for Wales will be the repatriation of powers from Brussels once article 50 is triggered.