THE FUW says Welsh Government water qu ality legislation annou nced on
Janu ary 27 makes a mockery of
devolu tionby failing to address Welsh concerns and needs.
The legislationwill meanthe phasing across Wales of what are effectively EU
ru les cu rrently in
farmed areas ‐
designate the whole
of Wales as anEU
Nitrate Vu lnerable
Zone (NVZ), anarea more thanforty times bigger than the cu rrent Welsh NVZ area, and eleventimes bigger thanwhat was recommended by NRW.
FUW president GlynRoberts said: “The blank sheet of devolu tionand Brexit allows Welsh Government to designa bespoke system which wou ld target problem areas withou t being disproportionate and costing the farming ind u stry hu nd red s of millions ‐ inclu d ing in areas where there are no problems.
“This was precisely the recommendationof NRW, the FUW and others ina report presented to Welsh Government in2018.”
Mr Roberts said that instead, the Welsh Government has takenthe
u nimaginative move of taking off‐the‐ shelf regu lations and applying them for
th e wh ole of Wales.
“As with the
cu rrent wh ite paper proposals for
agricu ltu ral su pport, wh ich simply copies a Defra plan, this annou ncement makes a mockery of d evolu tion, and
marks a betrayal of the principles of evidence‐based decisionmaking,” added Mr Roberts.
NRW had previou sly advised the Welsh Government against implementing the legislation, warning it cou ld have the perverse ou tcome of making pollu tionworse, while also warning of the severe resou rce implications of su ch a draconianmove.
“It is now essential that members of the senedd stand u p for what is best for Wales as this legislationis considered, rather thanadding to the erosionof
devolu tionthat this legislationsymbolises,” said Mr Roberts.