A stark warning that a catastrophic no-deal Brexit would endanger jobs, investment and livelihoods in Wales came this week from a duo of Welsh Government Ministers, writes Barry Alston.
The caution, coupled with a demand for the UK’s new Prime Minister to rule it out immediately, was outlined by International Relations Minister Eluned Morgan and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles who suggested a no-deal Brexit would lead to an economy some eight to 10 per cent smaller in the long run under WTO rules.
The pair said a no-deal would destroy Welsh farming, its well-established marketing links to EU countries, and be impacted by tariffs levied on Welsh produce.
This weaker economy and increased barriers for business would spiral exports to as high as 84 per cent on cattle carcases, 46 per cent on lamb and 61 per cent on lamb cuts.
Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show, Builth Wells, Mr Miles said: “Those who are hell bent on a no-deal Brexit need to hear the clear message from Wales.
“It would hit hard, inflicting catastrophic damage on our country and economy.
“This cannot be allowed to happen. We will not stand by and allow sustained growth in Welsh farming and food to be derailed by the reckless actions of a few.
“We are calling on the new Prime Minister to rule no-deal out.”
Ms Morgan said she was pushing for a new Brexit vote to help continue to advocate Wales remaining in the European Union.
It came as FUW president Glyn Roberts told Defra Secretary Michael Gove and Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns that leaving the EU without a deal would have grave economic impacts for agriculture, rural communities and other industries.
He said: “The latest analysis by Hybu Cig Cymru, suggesting 92.5 per cent of our lamb export trade could disappear if we go over the Brexit cliff on October 31, only highlights our concerns.”
The tariff rates intended to be put in place by the government for food imports were only a fraction of the rates UK exporters would have to pay to send produce to the EU, he added.