I have shown mysupport for Welsh farming at Back British Farming Day in Westminster, recognising the crucial role farmers play in producing food and caring for the countryside.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with a Back British Farming wheat-pin badge to publicly display their support for the sector during Brexit negotiations.
Farming is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector – food and drink – which contributes over £100 billion to the economy and employs 3.8 million people. Read more “Supporting Welsh Farming”
It was a pleasure to meet people from the farming community in Parliament this week. We were able to discuss their concerns over Brexit and what will replace the Common Agricultural Policy when we leave the EU – this is the mechanism that gives farmers financial support keeping prices at the till down.
We also talked about how we can become a leader of the world when it comes to sustainable farming. We need to make sure that the intensive farming techniques that we have developed do not undermine the natural environment long-term so that we can protect habitats for struggling species – such as bees.
I asked the Minister of State for Leaving the European Union, at Brexit Questions, if the Government will guarantee the maintenance of protected status for Welsh products after Brexit.
Protected status, or Protected Geographical Status to give it its full title, is a scheme run by the European Union to protect the reputation of regional protects, promote traditional and agricultural activity and to eliminate non-genuine products which may mislead consumers or be of inferior or different character.
Recently, traditional Welsh Perry and traditional Welsh Cider was awarded protected status by the European Commission. This joins other Welsh products, such as Welsh Laverbread, Welsh Lamb and Halen Môn/Anglesey Sea Salt, in being recognised for their distinct quality and awarded protection against imitation and misuse. Read more “Brexit Questions: Protected Status”
There are a number of businesses in Delyn who will have to agree to trade deals next March for the years following 2019. They have had no assurances from the Government on what the future tariff situation will be once we leave the EU.
Without these assurances dairy farmers, for example, will struggle to continue to trade to the USA. We need the Government to give a detailed plan on how the UK will trade following Brexit. We still do not know if people in Delyn will be able to sell their products to mainland Europe after March 2019. This makes planning for the future near on impossible.
The Secretary of State replied by referring to previous figures – figures which are positive because of the current arrangements and not due to the Government’s actions. Rest assured I will continue to press on the future trading relationships we have throughout the world and will not settle for anything other than a deal that secures the future of our businesses and therefore jobs.