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Wales will get ‘whatever it needs’ to fund farming after Brexit, says Gove

Defra Secretary Michael Gove has promised Wales will receive whatever cash it needs to support farming after Brexit.

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Wales will get ‘whatever it needs’ to fund farming after Brexit, says Gove

His pledge, made at the Royal Welsh Show this week, followed renewed calls for clarity from Westminster on post-Brexit funding from Wales’ First Minister, Carwyn Jones.

 

Mr Gove said: “Wales will receive whatever it needs in order to support its farming sector and its broader rural economy.

 

“We are also clear that the particular challenges faced by farmers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to be respected in the way in which we distribute cash.”

 

Earlier this year, the Defra Secretary told MSPs during a committee hearing that Scotland will continue to receive the same level of agricultural funding it does now, and possibly more, but formal plans have still not been set out.


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Mr Jones’ plea for a firm guarantee on funding came shortly after Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths complained about the Treasury’s failure to discuss the matter with the devolved nations.

 

Speaking at an NFU Cymru Brexit seminar at the show, Mr Jones said: “At the moment, £260 million a year comes from the EU straight into the pockets of Welsh farmers.

 

“Where is it going to be after 2022? We do not know. We cannot find it. We have not got £260 million to make up for it.

 

“What we have said to the UK Government is this – what you need to do is to confirm Wales will continue to get the funding it has had historically, because the industry needs that certainty.

“If we get the money, we will spend it on farming. No question about that, it will be ring fenced.”

 

Tim Render, ex-Defra civil servant and now the Welsh Government’s director of environment and rural affairs, also asked farmers to push Defra Secretary Michael Gove for answers on future funding at a RWS CLA event.

 

He said: “It is really hard to plan this stuff without having a reasonable idea what the budget is likely to be.

 

“One would hope we can keep it at a reasonable level fairly close to where we are at the moment, but it is an unknown.”

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