FUW President Glyn Roberts took the opportunity to highlight the priorities for the next UK Government when he met Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Royal Welsh Winter Fair and presented him with a copy of the FUW’s newly launched election manifesto.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Roberts said: “It was important to take the opportunity to highlight the key matters that will impact Welsh farm incomes in the short and long term.
“Both Boris and the FUW want to ‘get Brexit done’ – but we don’t necessarily want to get to the same destination, and the FUW want the process to happen carefully over a sensible timescale.”
Mr Roberts said he and Mr Johnson did not share this view and that the two leaders had therefore not discussed the matter.
“I, therefore, took the opportunity to highlight the issue of tariffs on food imports into the UK after Brexit and the fact that those set by the UK would be a fraction of those that would apply when our own produce was exported to the EU and elsewhere.”
Mr Roberts said that setting such unfavourable rates not only compromises UK producers by handing over cheap access to competitors in other countries but also weakens the UK’s trade negotiating position by handing over access which would otherwise be part of trade negotiations.
Speaking following the launch of the Union’s manifesto Mr Roberts said: “Brexit has split Parliament, political parties and the nation, leading to fifty ministerial resignations, expulsions from and defections between parties and the defeat of the UK Government in a series of court cases both in England and Scotland.
“Whilst some have sought to paint Brexit as a simple process, and those who oppose implementing it rapidly as failing to respect the outcome of the referendum, the events since the May 2017 election have confirmed the FUW’s view, made clear the day after the EU Referendum, that Brexit should take place over a safe and realistic timescale.