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Chancellor’s deputy refuses to meet Agriculture Ministers to talk funding

The Chancellor’s deputy, ex-Defra Secretary Liz Truss, has refused to meet farming ministers from across the UK to discuss post-Brexit agricultural funding.

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Chancellor’s deputy refuses to meet Agriculture Ministers to talk funding

Wales’ Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths revealed Ms Truss had snubbed ministers from the four regions of the UK on several occasions during a Westminster Welsh Affairs committee meeting last week.

 

Asked whether the UK Government had provided any details about how cash would be allocated to the devolved administrations after 2022, Ms Griffiths said: “We have not had clarity around funding, which is of concern.

 

“At our quadrilateral meeting, we have invited the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to come and talk to us.

 

“Unfortunately, I think we have invited her about four times and she has not come.


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“I am really hopeful she will be at the next one in London on July 5, because I think it is really important we do get some clarity around this.”

 

The latest news follows a refusal from the Chancellor to give evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on Defra Secretary Michael Gove’s proposed environmental watchdog.

 

MPs on the committee had asked him to attend a hearing to comment on media reports which suggested the Treasury was blocking plans to allow the post-Brexit regulator to take the Government to court if it failed to meet certain standards.

 

But the Chancellor refused, and would not send another Minister in his place.

Mary Creagh, chair of the committee, said: “Without effective enforcement powers, the proposed environmental watchdog will be unable to hold Government to account.

 

“The Treasury has voiced opposition to these essential powers, and some Government Ministers are sceptical about protecting the UK’s hard-won environmental standards.

 

“We are deeply disappointed that a Treasury Minister is unwilling to explain their position. Failing to come before the committee and put their views on record will only fuel concerns that any new watchdog will be toothless.”

 

A Treasury spokesman said: “In January the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (CST) visited Cardiff and met her Welsh Government counterpart Mark Drakeford as part of her regular engagement with the Welsh Government.

 

“The CST and her counterparts speak about issues relating to those portfolios.”

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