NZ-UK deal: ‘Warm words won’t cut it’ for Welsh farmers


Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on agriculture in Westminster, Ben Lake MP, has said that warm words won’t cut it for Welsh farmers concerned about the impact of the New Zealand trade deal, which was announced last night.

Last year’s analysis by the UK Government found that its effect on Britain’s GDP would probably have “limited effect … in the long run” – being between a positive growth of 0.01% or negative growth of -0.01%. The analysis also concluded that an agreement would have “a potential decrease in employment in the agriculture and semi-processed foods sectors in the long run”.

In the House of Commons today, the Ceredigion MP asked the Secretary of State for International Trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, to explain how Ceredigion farmers will benefit from the deal, given that the government’s own analysis shows that the agreement could cut jobs in agriculture. The Secretary of State responded that the agreement gives the opportunity for farmers to “reach out and share their wares more widely”.

Mr Lake also said that he shared farmers’ concerns about the cumulative impact of UK trade deals, warning that a precedent had now been set for big farming nations such as the US and Brazil to also have unfettered access to UK markets.

Responding to the announcement, Ben Lake MP said:

“The UK Government say that their trade agreement will not undermine Welsh farmers. Yet, their own assessment shows that this agreement would cut jobs in agriculture and produce zero additional growth. This is particularly concerning given how important the farming sector is to rural communities all over Wales.

“We share Welsh farming unions’ concerns not only about the New Zealand deal but about the cumulative impact of the UK Government’s trade agreements. Together with the Australia FTA, a precedent has now been set for unfettered access for agricultural produce. Farmers in big farming nations across the world, from the US to Brazil, will now expect the same.

“Warm words won’t cut it. Welsh farmers deserve an explanation of how their livelihoods will be protected in light of these trade deals.”

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  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2021-11-05 16:17:36 +0000

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