Politicians must fight for future of farming in post-Brexit Wales

29 September 2016

CLA Cymru is calling on Welsh Government and Welsh MPs to ensure that the distinct needs and opportunities for farming and the rural economy in Wales are not forgotten in the development of a UK-specific policy to succeed the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The CLA represents 32,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses, including more than 3,500 in Wales. It is urging Welsh political representatives to support the development of an over-arching UK-wide Food, Farming and Environmental Policy framework, and to ensure that rural businesses in Wales are given scope to prosper within this UK-wide framework.

The CLA has published a new briefing paper along with Scottish Land & Estates, exploring the impact of Brexit on rural businesses in Wales and Scotland, as part of its series of ‘New Opportunities’ papers covering the key Brexit issues for farming and rural businesses.

CLA Cymru Chairman, David Wynne Finch said: “Farming is the backbone of rural Wales, and the forestry industry too makes a vital contribution to the Welsh economy, heritage and landscapes. The vote for Brexit has created both the need and the opportunity for government, farmers and rural businesses across the UK to work together and develop a Food, Farming and Environmental Policy to succeed and better the EU’s CAP. We must together seize this opportunity to improve the resilience of farm businesses while enriching the natural environment and creating trade and regulatory systems that work better across the UK.

“In the role of the devolved nations’ part in the Brexit process there is a new dynamic in the relationship between Westminster and Cardiff. We urge our MPs and AMs here in Wales to make sure that Welsh farmers are given every opportunity to prosper from the new arrangements. We do need consistency across the UK to avoid internal trade barriers and so that we have equal approaches to support and regulation. However, rural Wales has distinct challenges and opportunities – our farmers produce high quality products that are recognised across the world. Welsh farm businesses must be allowed to flourish within the wider framework.”

The new briefing paper sets out the following priorities for Welsh Cabinet Secretaries and Scottish Ministers to support rural businesses in Wales and Scotland:

  • The devolved nations must be part of a UK food, farming and environmental policy framework 
  • The framework must respect and support the devolved structure 
  • A fair and transparent funding structure must be put in place
  • The framework must enhance collaboration between Government and industry
  • Develop a strategic approach to the rural economy and land use

The series of New Opportunity briefing papers on key Brexit issues for farming and rural businesses can be found at www.cla.org.uk/newopportunities