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Monday, July 22, 2019

The impact of a No-deal Brexit on farming

With the Royal Welsh Show starting today, it was inevitable that the BBC and other media would start to talk about agricultural matters, but this year the focus on the impact of a no-deal Brexit is particularly important.

The BBC report on the view of FUW president, Glyn Roberts, that there could be "civil unrest" in rural Wales if the next prime minister opts for a no-deal Brexit. They say that the Farmers' Union of Wales has predicted protests, while NFU Cymru say it would not rule out campaigning to stop Brexit entirely.

They were speaking in light of a new report, commissioned by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland and Meat Promotion Wales which suggests exports to Europe, currently the destination for more than nine-tenths of overseas trade for Welsh producers, could fall by about 92%. The report estimates this would lead to a 24% fall in the price of lamb at a time of year when thousands of lambs are coming on to the market every day.

With Boris Johnson due to assume the role of Prime Minister later this week, this become a real and existential threat to Welsh farming.  Given the willingness of the Tory candidate to consider a no-deal Brexit, let us hope that farmers in Brecon and Radnorshire remember this when they cast their vote in the by-election on 1 August.
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