Farmers unions warn that no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for agriculture sector


Ben Lake has met with NFU and FUW representatives and local farmers to discuss the implications leaving the EU without a deal would have for the sector.

Agriculture is key to wealth and job creation in Ceredigion. It is estimated that every £1 generated in agriculture translates into some £7.40 for the local economy through supply chains and spending, and that each job in farming supports 3.5 jobs in other sectors. Red meat exports, and lamb in particular, are the backbone of the agricultural industry in Wales. The single market is a vital export destination for Welsh food and drink in general. Over 80% of food and animal exports goes to the EU, and between 35% and 40% of all Welsh lamb produced.

During a meeting with NFU Cymru members, hosted by Aled Lewis, Ceredigion NFU Cymru County Chairman, Mr Lake listened to concerns raised by the members about the huge disruption that could be caused by a no-deal Brexit, leading to an effective trade embargo on the export of UK animals and animal-based products. The members also argued that a no-deal Brexit would lead to an immediate reliance on overseas imports, produced to lower standards, while many Welsh farms struggle to survive.

During the Meaningful Vote debate in the House of Commons and the recent debate on Leaving the EU with a no-deal, Mr Lake reiterated the concerns of his constituents, and emphasised that he will continue to work across party lines to block a no-deal exit from the EU.

Mr Lake said:

“The consequences of no-deal Brexit for Ceredigion would be severe and far reaching, so much so that I consider it utterly inconceivable for any Government to be so irresponsible as to inflict upon their citizens the level of damage that a no-deal Brexit would cause.

“The Prime Minister has the power to avoid a no-deal by revoking, or seeking an extension to article 50. It is her duty to make it clear that she will not subject the country to a no-deal Brexit, and in so doing dissipate the harmful uncertainty that the mere prospect has generated.”

Aled Lewis, NFU Cymru County Chairman for Ceredigion said:

“I’m very grateful to Ben Lake for meeting with us and for listening to our concerns. It’s clear that our future trading relationship with the EU will be critical to the future prospects of the Welsh farming and food industries, and to the vitality and vibrancy of our rural communities, and a catastrophic no-deal scenario must be avoided. It’s no exaggeration to say that the decisions that will be made in Westminster over the next few weeks and months will have a huge impact on the future of farming families in Ceredigion and throughout the whole of Wales, and our politicians have to get this right."


A representative from FUW Ceredigion said:

“The FUW Ceredigion Branch welcomed Ben Lake MP to their County Executive meeting in December. A lively discussion was had focusing on what the implications for farmers might be in the event of a no-deal Brexit."

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