Plans are in place to minimise disruption for the farming sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the government.
But the amount of support for individual sectors is yet to be decided.
Concern is mounting that sheep producers, in particular, could see their livelihoods devastated if the Brexit transition period ends without a deal on 31 December.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) said failure by the UK and EU to reach a trade deal in the coming days would be catastrophic for industries and entire Welsh communities.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said even with a trade deal, industries faced major challenges from non-tariff barriers at borders.
Agricultural exports would face additional costs of up to 10% – as well as major disruptions and practical obstacles to the flow of goods.
“These already worrying impacts will increase many fold if we fail to reach a trade agreement, in particular as a result of the tariffs that will be charged on our exports,” said Mr Roberts.
The viability and very survival of businesses, as well as the supply chains and jobs they support depended on a deal being struck, he added.
“Talk of an ‘Australia-style deal’ is just a euphemism for a damaging no-deal.”
More than one-third of sheepmeat produced in Wales is exported annually – more than 90% of it exported to the EU.
Mr Roberts said: “We have said since the referendum that no responsible UK government would allow the UK to leave the EU without a trade deal.”
A no-deal Brexit at a time when jobs, lives and the economy were being ravaged by coronavirus would be a “massive and reckless act of self harm,” he added.
Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said Boris Johnson’s Brexit brinkmanship was “playing fast and loose” with Welsh farmers’ livelihoods.
Earlier, the Prime Minister suggested no deal would be ‘wonderful’ for Britain.
But former Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that Mr Johnson was playing Russian roulette with people’s jobs and livelihoods.
Mr Miliband said: “How dare he say it’ll be a wonderful outcome when we know the impact [of a no-deal] on our farmers?”
The Sunday Telegraph reported that the government plans to underwrite the losses of up to 3,500 sheep farmers on less than £10k per year in the event of “severe market disruption”.
But that has yet to be confirmed.
A Defra spokesman said: “As any responsible government would, we have plans in place to minimise disruption for the farming sector if a deal is not reached with the EU.”
But he added: “No decisions have been taken on any sector-specific interventions – including the sheep sector – past the end of the transition period.”
Similar Recent Posts by this Author:
- LAMBS HOGGETS AND MUTTON – FRESH OR FROZEN ? BUT IS IT MOUNTAIN MADE
- Editor: Ben Briggs FARMERS WEEKLY- Has Westminster ever really wanted Brexit to succeed?- The scale of defeat inflicted on Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement only heightens the threat to farming and the chances of crashing out of the EU without a deal
- IN A NO DEAL SCENARIO BRITAIN NEEDS TO FIRST CONTROL IMPORTS AND WORK ON AN IMPORT / EXPORT “TIT FOR TAT” ARRANGEMENT – MARKETS NEED BUYERS AS WELL AS SELLERS !
- HYPOTHETICAL POLITICAL SCARE MONGERING TO CONVINCE OPINION MUST BE LIBELLOUS
- IF CORBYN AND THE UNIONS HAD BACKED A NO DEAL BREXIT, IT WOULD BE A SOCIALIST PEOPLE’S BREXIT NOW – SO GET REAL UNIONS
- NFU president Minette Batters said a properly managed and orderly Brexit was in the best interests of both farmers and the public. Agriculture is the bedrock of the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, food and drink – worth £113bn to the UK economy.