THE FUW has asked for clarification after the Welsh Government accused the union of running a ‘misleading’ campaign in relation to the current consultation on radically reforming rural support after Brexit.
In a press release issued on September 7, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths announced that she was writing to Welsh farmers reiterating the Welsh Government’s view as to why the direct support for farming should be replaced in Wales after Brexit, stating that “…the recent misleading FUW campaign is not helpful.”
In response to the release, FUW president Glyn Roberts has written to the Welsh Government asking for clarification as to what claims made by the FUW are ‘misleading’ ‐ as opposed to being just a difference of opinion.
Mr Roberts said: “We fully respect the fact that the Welsh Government and other organisations have a different view to us on what is appropriate for Wales in the short to medium term, the timescale for any changes, and how and when decisions on future schemes should be made.
“We have raised numerous valid concerns about the Welsh Government’s proposals, many of which we have made repeatedly over the past two years, as well as highlighting various dangers we believe are very real.
“I reject the suggestion that we have run a misleading campaign rather than one which reiterates these genuine concerns, but I have written to the Cabinet Secretary asking for details of any claims she believes are misleading ‐ as opposed to being different opinions.” Mr Roberts said that a letter received from the Cabinet Secretary the day before the Welsh Government’s embargoed press release was issued did not make any
claims about misleading statements. The Cabinet Secretary has taken what is an unprecedented step during a consultation period by writing to all farmers reiterating the Welsh Government’s views on its proposals and enclosing a ‘mythbuster’ document which lists misapprehensions and views that differ to their own, and the Welsh Government’s corrections or views on these.
“In my letter I have made it clear that views that differ from the Welsh Government’s cannot be described as ‘myths’. I have also listed a number of concerns and questions in relation to the Welsh Government’s proposals and asked for these to be answered,” added Mr Roberts.