Concern 250,000 hectares of Welsh farmland would be made ‘unproductive’ by Johnson’s Brexit deal

Picture by Osian Hedd Harries

Boris Johnson has been accused of being willing to sacrifice Welsh farming to deliver Brexit, after data suggested that 250,000 hectares of farmland would be made unproductive by his deal.

250,000 hectares is an area around one-eighth the size of Wales as a whole.

The data published by the Welsh Government show that under Johnson’s deal the production of dairy, beef and lamb across Wales would come under pressure from lower prices in global markets.

Such a Free Trade Agreement-based relationship is what Boris Johnson – backed by a number of Labour MPs – has said he would seek with the EU after Brexit.

The EU is currently the main market for exports of Welsh agricultural products. It is the destination of over 80% of Welsh food and animal exports, including over 90% of meat, dairy, egg and animal feed exports.

 

‘Backbone’

Plaid Cymru’s Agriculture Spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, said that Boris Johnson is willing to sacrifice Welsh agriculture to realise his Brexit plans.

“We know Westminster has barely given Wales a second thought in the Brexit process, but this data shows how little respect they have for our rural communities,” Ben Lake, who is standing again in Ceredigion, said.

“If there was ever any doubt, it is now clear that Boris Johnson is willing to sacrifice Welsh farming to deliver his Brexit.

“Farms are the backbone of the Welsh economy and at the heart of our rural communities. We simply cannot let bureaucrats and politicians in Westminster, who have probably never visited a farm, deliver these damaging policies.

“In a few week time, we must elect people from our communities that will speak for our country.”

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John Young
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John Young

I’ve heard many people state that a majority of Welsh farmers voted for Brexit. On the face of it that appears to make no sense if you believe articles like this.

Can any of you confirm what the actual situation was with Welsh farmers votes ?

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

Farming is going to undergo a lot of changes (as it always has) over the next few decades including potentially the loss of support through the CAP, climate change, biodiversity issues here and abroad, food miles, animal welfare, sustainability, food security, balance of payments, currency fluctuations, changing attitudes to and levels of meat eating here and abroad, soil erosion, provenance and food identities. Some of these challenges are new, many are just old ones in new guises. Almost none of these challenges will be met by sucking up to the Donald and his agricultural/trade policies. Free trade is never free,… Read more »

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

“Free trade is never free …….” Although it should be ! Check out this article about the distortion of free market capitalism to a point where it is nothing of the sort. https://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/the right’s mega-rich problem. One of the points it makes is that extreme concentration of wealth and monopolistic marketplaces are the very antithesis of competitive free enterprise. But of course the Tories are mainly focussed on defending prevalent inequality and stifling any mobility or change. By their deployment of agricultural subsidies without any meaningful upper limit the EU also seem to be wedded to a similar outlook as… Read more »