Agriculture and Brexit inquiry launches with visit to Dolgellau

16 March 2017

The Welsh Affairs Committee visits Dolgellau on Monday 20 March 2017 to launch the next stage of its Brexit inquiry. The Committee looks at the impact of Brexit on agriculture in Wales and hears from representatives of Farmers’ Union Wales and National Farmers Union.

Inquiry focus

The inquiry considers key factors influencing the prosperity of farming in Wales once negotiations to leave the EU are completed. The industry is a significant part of the North and Mid-Wales economies, accounting for 1 in 25 jobs, and relies on EU markets for exporting as much as 90% of produce.

A central issue affecting agriculture in Wales comes with the repatriation of powers from the EU. Should agricultural policy and funding be devolved or is it best decided UK-wide? What EU law and regulation should be kept and are there any opportunities for developing new policies that meet the specific needs of Welsh farming? Welsh farming is also heavily reliant on funding from the EU. Direct subsidies through the Common Agricultural Policy amount to £274million each year. When the UK leaves the EU how will the Government replace these sources of funding?

This is the Committee’s first inquiry based on issues raised at public outreach events held throughout Wales last year. Read our Brexit in Wales summary.

Inquiry launch

The inquiry will be launched at 10am at Dolgellau Mart and anyone interested in the potential impact of Brexit on farming in Wales is welcome to come along to meet with members and share their views.

This will be followed by a formal evidence session at 11.05 in Gwynedd Council Chambers.

Call for written submissions

Interested parties are invited to submit their views addressing the following points:

  • As the UK leaves the European Union, where should the responsibility for agricultural policy in Wales lie?
  • How should agricultural funding be allocated in Wales post-Brexit?
  • How should European legislation relating to agriculture be transposed into UK law under the Great Repeal Bill? Which elements should be repealed, amended, or devolved?
  • What are the challenges facing agricultural trade in Wales when the UK leaves the European Union? How should the level of trade and export of Welsh food and drink be protected and maintained?

You can submit your views through the Agriculture in Wales post-Brexit inquiry page.

Please note that the inquiry launches at 10am on Monday 20 March 2017 and you will not be able to submit evidence through the website before that.

Interested parties are requested to keep to a word limit of 3,000 words.

Deadline for written submissions is Tuesday 2 May 2017.

The Welsh Affairs Committee welcomes written evidence in either English or Welsh.

Dolgellau visit schedule

Monday 20 March 2017

From 10:00am:

Inquiry launch and informal discussion with Members.

Dolgellau Farmers Mart, Bala Road, Dolgellau LL40 2YF (view on Google maps).

From 11.05am:

Gwynedd Council Chambers, Cae Penarlag, Dolgellau LL40 2YB

  • Dr Nick Fenwick, Director of Agricultural Policy, Farmers’ Union of Wales
  • Glyn Roberts, President, Farmers’ Union of Wales
  • Stephen James, President, NFU Cymru
  • Dylan Morgan, Deputy Director and Head of Policy, NFU Cymru

Chair's comment

Ahead of the visit, Committee Chair David TC Davies commented:

"The Committee has come to Dolgellau to see how crucial agriculture is to Wales and examine the impact of any potential Brexit deal. The EU currently plays a big role in the sector, both as a market for our produce and as a source of subsidies. We will be asking representatives of the NFU and Farmers’ Union Wales for their perspective on the future of farming in Wales and ask what the UK Government needs to do to make sure it remains a viable industry."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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