FUW tells Prime Minister Article 50 period extension must be sought if hard Brexit looks likely

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.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice. Colin Ley - News reporter