Brexit timing must be carefully considered says FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to delay invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and has called for the UK and EU to agree on a sensible timetable for Brexit after the UK electorate voted to leave the EU – or risk dire consequences for both the UK and the remaining 27 Member States.

“The FUW supported the remain campaign and was a member of Stronger In Europe, so we are naturally disappointed with the outcome,” said FUW President Glyn Roberts.

“However, as a democratic organisation we fully respect the outcome of the vote, and work must now start to build a positive future for farming and the rural economy of Wales outside the EU.”

Mr Roberts said the timescale of an exit was crucial to such planning, and that exit over too short a period would have dire consequences for both the UK and the EU.

“There is a monumental amount of work to do in terms of changing domestic arrangements and legislation, including in terms of Welsh devolved legislation, not to mention unravelling us from the EU budget to which we were previously committed, negotiating trade deals and dealing with issues such as border controls.

“Such issues will also require a huge amount of work at the EU level, and we do not believe a rapid exit over a couple of years would be in either the UK or the EU’s interests.

“It is likely to leave everyone with the worst of all worlds,” he added.

The Union has called for early meetings with the Welsh Government and is also engaged with UK Government to ensure that the voice of Welsh farming is heard during these challenging times.

“We have also reached out to other non-member states in order to better understand agricultural models in countries such as Norway and Switzerland, and these knowledge exchanges will ensure that the experience of other nations can benefit any plans being developed in Wales,” said Mr Roberts.

The FUW will also be using its wide network of county branches to ensure that the voice and views of members throughout Wales are heard during the planning and negotiation phases of any exit. A meeting of County Chairmen is planned for the first week of July.

“Our members’ voices must be heard, so we will consult with them as widely as we can to ensure that Wales gets what it needs to ensure a sustainable agricultural future and stronger rural economies.”

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