Union officials are now looking forward to discussing the next steps and the way forward with ministers and contributing to the development of legislation, which is in line with the FUW’s manifesto demands.
With regards to the Great Repeal Bill, the FUW welcomed the commitment to maintain the scope of devolved decision-making powers immediately after exiting the EU.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “It was a key demand in our manifesto and the the FUW had called on the Government to fully assess the implications of repealing, amending or devolving legislation in light of developments such as trade negotiations. We also called on the Government to identify those changes, which can be made without compromising our ability to access EU and other markets.
“Where necessary due to time constraints, the Union argued that it was essential to transpose overarching EU legislative frameworks en bloc in a way which maintains balances of power between devolved administrations and the UK Government and Parliament, while committing to reviewing such frameworks post-Brexit.”
Mr Roberts further said that it is essential that the commitment to intensive discussion and consultation with the devolved administrations regarding common frameworks is genuine, since previously such commitments seemed to have merely paid lip-service to such engagement.
Talking about the Customs Bill and Trade Bill, the Union President said that while large elements of Customs and Trade Bills will be housekeeping exercises to ensure there is no legislative void on the day we leave the EU, it is essential that such legislation can properly accommodate our continued unfettered access to the affluent EU market which is on our doorstep.
In regards to the Agriculture Bill, Glyn Roberts said: “The FUW highlighted that the need for and form of such a bill has been the subject of many of our discussions with both UK and Welsh ministers in the past year.”
Key demands made by the FUW have included the need for a framework which respects current devolution and prevents unfair competition between devolved regions; protects adequate long term funding for agriculture; and respects devolved powers over agriculture and the need for a degree of flexibility which allows devolved governments to make decisions which are appropriate for their regions.
“Through our Manifesto we have also called for legislation which allows the evolution of current regimes rather than disruptive changes and we would therefore ask the Government to agree to a ten year transition period between the current and any future policies, which takes into account changes our major competitors will experience under the next EU CAP,” added Mr Roberts.
The FUW further calling on the UK government to closely monitor developments in those countries against which UK farmers are likely to compete – particularly in terms of reform of the CAP.
“It is absolutely critical that the government ensure that thorough analysis and modelling of all proposals is undertaken, before decisions are made, taking account of impacts on the upstream and downstream supply chains which rely on farm businesses, as well as farm businesses themselves,” said Mr Roberts.