Welsh Liberal Democrats have launched a ‘Not a Penny Less’ petition calling on the Westminster Government to ensure Welsh agriculture does not lose out as a result of leaving the European Union.
Currently, Welsh farms receive hundreds of millions of pounds directly as a result of EU membership through the Common Agricultural Policy, but there are concerns that this support will not be matched by the UK Government outside of the EU.
“Andrea Leadsom, one of the leading ‘Leave’ campaigners and now the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, stated during the referendum campaign that ‘the UK government will give you the same money when we leave the EU’ and we are calling on her to keep her referendum promise,” said West Wales MP and leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Mark Williams.
“Agriculture in Wales has received huge amounts of funding as a result of our membership of the EU over the past several decades.
“Without it many farms would struggle to make ends meet and this would have a huge impact on our rural economy and rural communities.
“Despite the comments by leading Leave campaigners during the referendum campaign, the Westminster Government has so far been unable to commit to replacing the money farmers will lose as a result of leaving the EU.”
William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson for farming, environment and rural affairs, added: “At a difficult time for many of our farmers, we are calling for the new Defra Secretary to make it a priority to reassure them that they will get not a penny less in funding than they currently receive.
“It is also becoming increasingly clear that Welsh agriculture needs direct and tariff-free access to the single market if it is to survive.”