Farmers leaders in Wales call for new Prime Minister to restore good relations with EU
Farmers leaders in Wales are calling for Boris Johnson’s replacement as Prime Minister to restore good relations with the EU and warned the UK Government against enacting the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which is currently before parliament.
The call is one of five demands put forward by the Farmers Union of Wales to help relieve pressures on farmers, food producers and consumers in the immediate term, while bolstering food and energy security in the long term.
Speaking at a pre-Royal Welsh Show press conference, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “Our nearest neighbouring countries, the majority of which are EU members, are part of the most stable trade partnership in the world, and have acted rapidly to secure European food security in the face of threats, the likes of which have not been seen since the Second World War.
“We must restore good relations with the nations and peoples who are our greatest allies when it comes to food and energy security, and represent the most affluent market in the world and one which is on our doorstep.”
“The UK Government is currently seeking to unilaterally change the international trade agreement it struck in 2019 with the EU through its Northern Ireland Bill which is currently passing through the UK Parliament.
“The overwhelming majority of commentators believe such a move would break international law, while the EU has instigated legal actions and threatened sanctions against the UK if this happens.
“The FUW believes that such a breach of international law would also further damage the reputation and standing of the UK on the global stage.
Extreme economic pressure
Mr Roberts wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June warning that unilaterally changing the Northern Ireland Protocol risks adding to the extreme economic pressures already being felt by UK businesses and consumers.
In his letter, the FUW President acknowledged that there is scope to improve the protocol, but urged the PM to do this by building on the proposals already put forward by the EU in October 2021.
“Working closely with our nearest neighbours represents the most practical, carbon-friendly way of restoring UK food security while protecting our own food and farming industry,” said Mr Roberts.
“The incoming Prime Minister must withdraw the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and re-enter negotiations with the European Union, rather than adding to the damage already done and the risks that accompany the actions taken to date,” he added.
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