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Now the Cardiff-Westminster standoff is over, Wales can plan future farm support

Paul Davies AM, Welsh Conservative spokesman for rural affairs, says the deal between Westminster and Cardiff on where farming powers will lie post-Brexit should be celebrated.

Last week was hugely significant for the Welsh Parliament and for negotiations to leave the EU.

 

The agreement between the Welsh and UK Governments over the European Union Withdrawal Bill changed the dynamic between the two sides and brought to an end a stand-off over returning powers from Brussels.

 

It means Ministers at both ends of the M4 can now set to work on a new future for British and Welsh agriculture, and we need to work together across the political divide to take full advantage of this opportunity.

 

It was a common sense solution, and proof of what can be achieved against the odds when politicians engage constructively and put party politics aside.

 

Reasonable

 

The UK Government has now delivered a considerable and reasonable offer to deliver a smooth and orderly departure from the EU for the whole of the UK, and there is no longer any question of Parliaments in any part of the UK ceding responsibilities in devolved areas without proper agreement.

 

We now have legal certainty for all sides, with a Withdrawal Bill which increases the powers of the devolved administrations and respects the devolved settlement.

 

The only loose end now is Scotland, whose Government has yet to reach a deal, and it must be hoped that a similar agreement can be achieved between the Scottish and UK Governments so we can move forward collectively to get the best possible deal for farming across the UK.

 

There are a number of areas in which we need to make progress, starting with the agreement of common frameworks to protect the domestic market for British agriculture.

 

Pressing

 

Equally pressing is the need to move on to constructive discussions over the kind of farm support schemes we want to see replacing the Common Agricultural Policy.

 

Nonetheless, we should celebrate this breakthrough. It is overwhelmingly clear that businesses and communities want their politicians to work constructively.

 

To be fair, both the UK and Welsh Governments have made considerable effort to secure progress and to address the concerns of the devolved Governments and Parliaments.


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