Farmers’ Union of Wales officials have raised concerns about the timing of the Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation with politicians, including First Minister Mark Drakeford and Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, at Pembrokeshire Show (Tuesday 13 August).
Having raised concerns since early July regarding the clash between the response deadline (30 October) and the date on which the UK is due to leave the EU (31 October), the FUW had already welcomed a Welsh Government commitment to keep the deadline under review.
However, given the UK Government’s determination to take the UK out of the EU at the end of October, deal or no deal, the Union now believes it is imperative that the deadline be extended.
Speaking at Pembrokeshire Show after a meeting with Mr Drakeford and Mrs Griffiths, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: "We share the Welsh Government's concerns regarding the impacts of a no-deal Brexit and welcome the commitment to supporting agriculture.
"In terms of the Sustainable Farming and our Land consultation, we have major concerns regarding the clash between the 30th October deadline and the date on which we are due to leave the EU, as growing Brexit disruption is likely to distract attention away from this important consultation document.
"Concerns such as collapses in export markets, drug shortages, and impacts for Welsh ports mean there is a real likelihood that as 31st October approaches, the attention of members of the public who would normally be considering the Sustainable Farming and our Land proposals will be diverted towards concerns regarding the implications of a no-deal Brexit and their own contingency planning.
"As such, the only means by which to ensure that the consultation paper is given the attention it truly deserves is to delay the deadline by a number of months."