Farmers’ Union of Wales officials welcomed the opportunity to meet with Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, David Jones MP, at his Downing Street office to discuss the opportunities that Brexit offered, whilst also considering many of the wide-ranging issues of concern to farmers in Wales.
“I would like to thank the Minister for meeting with us to discuss the critical risk to trade negotiations that the existing level of bovine TB present. I’ve no doubt that this issue is now also critical to British Ministers as they seek to develop long-term trade relations post-Brexit,” said FUW President Glyn Roberts.
David Jones MP was keen to explore a number of issues in a Wales context, and was highly supportive of the need to ensure that the unique views of Welsh farmers were recognised during any negotiations about future support for agriculture.
“It is very good news for us that there are UK Government Ministers with detailed understanding and knowledge of the unique challenges that Welsh farms face and we will work with them, and others, to ensure that the voice of Welsh farms are heard and understood in the coming months.
“The FUW has a critical role to play in the coming months and years to ensure that the voice of Welsh farms is clearly heard in London. We know that the farmers in Wales face very different challenges to those in England and other parts of the UK and it is the duty of the FUW to ensure that equal hearing is given, so that we achieve settlements for Wales that meet those needs,” said Mr Roberts.
Both sides agreed that there was a significant amount of work to be done in order to develop the clarity that everyone is seeking, but agreed to develop plans through dialogue over the coming weeks and months.
“This was a very positive meeting and it is vital that we continue to work with both UK and Welsh governments in order to develop the optimal long term settlement for Wales. In addition we were pleased to hear the positive comments from Prime Minister Theresa May in support of the food and farming sector in the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the summer recess,” added the Union President.