The UK Government must deal with the constitutional problems thrown up by Brexit before focusing on the longer-term issues such as trade, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has said.
The union has called for an ‘urgent’ UK summit which brings all four administrations together to discuss where agricultural powers should lie after Brexit.
Both the Scottish and Welsh Governments have previously threatened to derail the Great Repeal Bill if Westminster pushes ahead with a ‘power grab’.
Farming Minister George Eustice told Farmers Guardian he was keen to give devolved administrations more flexibility, but made clear there had to be a UK framework to ‘maintain the integrity of the UK single market’.
FUW deputy president Brian Thomas said: “The FUW sees three major phases in the UK’s exit from the EU: The Article 50 process, which has already started, and the constitutional issues which need to be resolved.
“The second phase of leaving the EU is when trade relations will be to the fore, and the third will look at long-term changes which can only be made once trading relationships are understood.
“We appear to be focusing all our energy on the latter phases, while ignoring the critical constitutional arrangements which need to be established by the UK Government and all devolved administrations.
“They need to be working collaboratively to develop a solution and this is why we have renewed our call for such a summit to be held as soon as possible.”
Since the EU referendum, the relationship between the UK Government and the devolved administrations has been stormy, with Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing accusing former Defra Secretary Andrea Leadsom of ‘radio silence’ on the important issues back in February.
UK minsters were also slammed by the Welsh Rural Affairs Committee after failing to show up to give evidence.