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Brexit ‘too hard’ and UK Gov’s trade deals ‘naive’ says Welsh farming union boss

20 Dec 2021 2 minutes Read
FUW President Glyn Roberts

The UK Government’s Brexit trade deals are “naive” because they pitch Welsh farmers directly against countries with lower standards, the President of the Farmers’ Union of Wales has said.

Glyn Roberts said that the Brexit they had been given was “far harder” than had been lobbied for and that “unjustified restrictions” were placing Welsh farmers which placed them “at a severe competitive disadvantage” with farmers from other countries.

Addressing members as part of an end of year review, he also said that non-tariff barriers created by Brexit were a “major problem for exporters” of meat.

“Such concerns are particularly pertinent in an era when the UK Government is proactively seeking to sign trade deals with countries with production standards which fall well short of those already required of Welsh food producers,” he said.

“And while the aspiration that further raising standards will provide our producers with a  competitive advantage in high-end markets is understandable, it is also naive given what the data tells us – price continues to be the main motivation when consumers make their food choices.”

He added that both Brexit and Covid-19 had highlighted the “fragility of global food supply chains” and the importance of a strong farming sector for Wales.

“The materialisation of a far harder form of Brexit than had been promised by those who lobbied for our departure from the EU has restricted access to our main export markets on the continent in ways which are only beginning to be felt,” he said.

“Meanwhile, UK Government cuts to Welsh rural funding – in direct contradiction to promises made repeatedly by those who advocated Brexit – have added to the pressures on Welsh agriculture, the rural economy and Welsh Government.”

He also took aim at the Welsh Government, saying that some of their responses to the challenges faced by the industry in 2021 had been “bewildering and counterintuitive” and had “drastically increasing costs and restrictions”.

Glyn Roberts said that climate change and protecting the environment “must be at the core of policy development for the Welsh Government and Senedd”.

“But such aspirations must be tempered by the knowledge that sweeping changes that undermine our family farms and food production will merely shift production to countries with lower animal welfare standards and higher global and environmental footprints,” he added.


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Stephen
Stephen
6 months ago

I feel sorry for the farmers, however 55% of them voted for Brexit…own it.

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 months ago
Reply to  Stephen

They did not get a chance to “own it” as you say. Indeed the most notable fact about the post June 2016 period is that no one owned it. Both sides of the pre referendum debate continued slagging each other off spending millions of man hours deriding each other when the entire UK needed people with the capacity to plan and execute the necessary reconfiguration for a post departure country. 2 main personal traits, real flaws, became evident. Some of the UK government were Remainers and were disinclined to make an effort. Others were Leavers but had no skills worth… Read more »

Gaynor Jones
Gaynor Jones
6 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

That is true Mr Davies, and there are far more Labour voting hwntw Brexiteers than farming ones, who had much more influence on the vote, than a handful of farmers

Marky17
Marky17
6 months ago
Reply to  Gaynor Jones

Brexit voters whining that they are not to blame for the shambles that is Brexit are everywhere. It seems that Brexit voting farmers are no exception. They even blame Remainers for the consequences of what they voted for. Pathetic.

Richard Freeman
Richard Freeman
6 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

If it was “moronic selfish bastards” who planned for (over many years), delivered and are now running Brexit, what does that say about how Brexit can ever work?

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 months ago

The form of Brexit that has been spawned by the malicious crew – some in government, others running financial institutions – will damage large tracts of the economy but will serve their narrow interests eminently well. Take JRM ( Will anyone take him, please) a big advocate of a “clean break” Brexit not concerned whether mutually beneficial deals were done or not. Yet he relocated his hedge fund or some other investment vehicle to Dublin! One of many pieces of evidence that the international money conspiracy ( Kleptocracy ?) managed to hijack Brexit for its own purposes. Had those politicians… Read more »

Marky17
Marky17
6 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Brexiters are entirely to blame for this mess and farmers tend to be Brexiters. Remainers warned that Johnson and his merry bunch of self-serving liars were not to be trusted and that there were dangers with Brexit, but this was dismissed with bellows of ‘Project Fear’. Farmers have made their own bed and can now face the consequences of their own stupidity.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 months ago
Reply to  Stephen

In aggregate I would agree but one needs to look at the analysis. There is a good article in West Country Bylines “Challenging the myth that farmers voted for Brexit (and therefore deserve what’s coming to them…)” which actually suggests that for their age/sex demographic fewer farmers voted for Brexit than comparable non-farmers.

Marky17
Marky17
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

They were still dim enough to trust proven liars and vote for their own demise.

John
John
6 months ago

Rhy hwyr codi pais wedi pisio.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago

More than a bit pregnant then ! Shame on you and the union for being so naive…to put it politely…

Last edited 6 months ago by Mab Meirion
Erisian
Erisian
6 months ago

Well, even most of those who though brexit was a ‘good idea’ didn’t get what they expected. You can thank Boris and the ERG for the Ulta-Hard Brexit disaster we endeed up with. Time will prove that common sense and cooperation trumps right wing isolationist ideology

Erasmus
Erasmus
6 months ago

““unjustified restrictions” were placing Welsh farmers which placed them “at a severe competitive disadvantage” with farmers from other countries.”

You wanted this, you voted for this and now you’ve got it.
It won’t get better, it will get worse, in 12 days, the first rules of origin grace-period runs out.

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago

I overheard a woman from a farming family on a train. She was voting Leave because she didn’t like filling in forms!?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago

Within weeks of the referendum (11/08/2016) Glyn Roberts warned of the dangers to farming of a hard Brexit so he isn’t unintelligent. He is however a fool since he failed to warn his members that voting for the Johnson Hardest Brexit Tory party was suicidal.

From way before the referendum farmers have polled a steady 72% support for the Conservatives and even now with the writing on the wall in neon 57% of them would still vote self-destruction.

What won’t be helped can’t be helped.

Marky17
Marky17
6 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Like the Brexiter pig farmer in East Yorkshire who’s going bust because of Brexit but still thinks Brexit is a good thing. Idiocy personified!

rhys parry-owen
rhys parry-owen
6 months ago

Be oedda chi’n ei ddisgwyl? Syniad dwl iawn yn y lle cynta.
Rwan fe gawn ni gig oen o Awstralia ZNewydd a afonydd glanach a mwy o goed yma. Mae yr EU wedi rhoi ‘heddwch’ am sawl degawd a llawer mwy i Gymru fach.

defaid
defaid
6 months ago

Afonydd a coed? Ac o ble fydd yr arian yn dôd? Sut bydd afonydd glan yn dal y Cymreig at y tir? Heb ffermwyr, bydd y gwlad yn troi’n ffair haf i’r Saeson.

Celwydd oedd brexit, ond celwydd oedd dros hanner Cymru’n fodlon credu mewn gobaith am rhwy gwawr disglair. Wel, mae’n gwawr diflas, ond paid a beio’r ffermwyr. Rho’r bai ar y celwyddwyr.

Last edited 6 months ago by defaid
rhys parry-owen
rhys parry-owen
6 months ago
Reply to  defaid

Fel un o’r ‘great evils’ o’r Beveridge report: ‘Ignorance is an evil weed that dictators cultivate amongst their dupes and which no democracy can afford its citizens’.
Siwr iawn fod llawer yn bod ar y CAP.
Fel mae nhw’n dweud -the people get the government they deserve’.
Methu hyd yn oed cael cergin gleision o’r Fenai….

Grayham Jones
6 months ago

It’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 a
Free wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

I don’t want our farming industry to suffer, but as others highlighted, most voted for Brexit. Surely questions must been been asked whether Whitehall would look for trade deals with the likes of Australia & New Zealand? Didn’t representatives from Wales ask what adverse affect any deals would have on Wales & Welsh Agriculture? If not, why not? A big concern for me was when the then Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss ( now Brexit portfolio) said that Welsh sheep farmers should diversify more into the beef market. She had no clue about Welsh Agriculture or the… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro

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