The Farmers’ Union of Wales has told the Prime Minister that seeking an extension to the Article 50 period must be a priority if a hard Brexit in April 2019 starts to become a real likelihood.
Speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on the Royal Welsh showground, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “The consequences of a hard Brexit would be so extreme for our industries, including farming, and for the economy of the country as a whole that it should not be allowed to happen.
“I made it clear to the Prime Minister that seeking an extension to the Article 50 period which allows more time to negotiate a common sense agreement with the EU has to be a priority if a hard Brexit starts to become a real likelihood.”
Mr Roberts said that losing access to the EU market would be particularly devastating for the Welsh farming industry, but would also cause huge damage to the UK economy.
“The two year Article 50 period triggered by Theresa May in March 2017 can be extended with the agreement of the EU, and it would be completely reckless to risk the cataclysmic damage of a hard Brexit in April 2019 rather than trying to get more time to reach a deal.”
Mr Roberts said the FUW had made it clear since the EU referendum that Brexit should take place over a safe and realistic timescale.
“The thousands of businesses present today on the Royal Welsh showground are a microcosm of our rural economy which employs hundreds of thousands of people across Wales alone.
“A hard Brexit risks causing collapse on a monumental scale, and we must fight to stop that from happening.”