Boris Johnson has been told to ‘stop playing Russian roulette’ with the sheep industry as he visited a South Welsh farm to speak to the industry about the future post-Brexit.
Boris Johnson has been told to ‘stop playing Russian roulette’ with the sheep industry as he visited South Welsh farm to speak to the industry about the future post-Brexit.
In a visit to Wales on Tuesday (June 30), the Prime Minister said farmers and producers would continue to thrive in post-Brexit Britain.
Mr Johnson said he will always back Britain’s ‘great farmers’ and needed to make sure Brexit worked for them as he visited a chicken farm in St Brides Wentlooge, near Newport, ahead of talks with First Minister Mark Drakeford.
“That means scrapping the Common Agricultural Policy and signing new trade deals – our amazing food and farming sector will be ready and waiting to continue selling ever more not just here but around the world,” he said.
“Once we leave the EU on October 31, we will have a historic opportunity to introduce new schemes to support farming – and we will make sure that farmers get a better deal.
“Brexit presents enormous opportunities for our country and it is time we looked to the future with pride and optimism.”
One sheep farmer called on the Prime Minister to ‘stop playing Russian roulette with the industry as he appears to be doing at the moment’.
Mr Johnson said it was down to the EU whether the UK left with a deal.
“This is very much up to our friends and partners across the channel," he said.
Mr Johnson also said the industry would have the support it needed in the event of no-deal emphasising the UK did not want tariffs. He suggested funds for ‘export refunds’ would be available for the Welsh Government to administer.
Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns claimed the industry could look to a ‘significant new market’ in Japan instead of European markets post-Brexit.
Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme what he would say to Welsh sheep farmers concerned about tariffs of around 40 per cent on exports to the EU in a no-deal Brexit, Mr Cairns highlighted an agreement for Japan to open its market to British lamb in January.
When it was signed the Government said it could be worth around £52 million over the first five years, compared to European exports worth £389m per year.