Article 50 revocation still the best option following third defeat of withdrawal deal - FUW

The FUW has responded to the third defeat in Parliament of the government’s withdrawal deal saying that revoking Article 50 is the only way to guarantee a safe and orderly Brexit. The call came after Prime Minister Theresa May’s third attempt to secure parliament’s backing for her withdrawal agreement was defeated by 344 to 286 votes.

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “With power over the Brexit process now resting firmly with Parliament, MPs need to recognise that withdrawing Article 50 is the only way to secure sufficient time to allow a consensus to be reached which bridges the political divides which exist within and between parties.”

Read more: Article 50 revocation still the best option following third defeat of withdrawal deal - FUW

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Rigorous animal welfare protects sheep from pests and diseases

Sheep shearing is a highly skilled process and essential every year to reduce the likelihood of disease and parasitic infections, which can cause health and welfare problems for the animals.  Now the Farmers’ Union of Wales has joined other industry organisations to produce joint guidance on sheep shearing, reminding farmers and professional contractors to work together to ensure that sheep are handled appropriately during shearing.

Read more: Rigorous animal welfare protects sheep from pests and diseases

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Joint Industry Guidance on Sheep Shearing

Industry organisations have produced joint guidance on sheep shearing to remind farmers and professional contractors to work together to ensure that sheep are handled appropriately during shearing.

The guide explains and emphasises everyone’s responsibilities, so that every step from the presentation of sheep on farm, through to livestock handling and the shearing process is well-planned, organised and calmly implemented.

‘The Government’s sheep welfare code states that you should remove the fleece from all mature sheep at least once a year’, explained Dafydd Jarrett of NFU Cymru. ‘Many farmers are qualified shearers in their own right, whilst others choose to use professional contractors, but all seek to ensure the highest standards of welfare are constantly met.’

‘Phil Stocker, CEO of the National Sheep Association (NSA) commented, ‘Wool is one of the most natural and sustainable fibres on earth and the practice of shearing is an essential part of the process that also improves the welfare of sheep.   This industry guidance is a valuable checklist that will help farmers and shearers to prepare in advance so that the entire operation goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.’

‘Shearing is essential for reducing the likelihood of disease and those parasitic infections which cause health and welfare problems for sheep.  Sheep keepers in Britain adhere to rigorous, scientifically validated animal welfare regulations and this guidance reinforces the commitment by industry to ensure that shearing is conducted to very high standards,’ clarified Dr Hazel Wright, Senior Policy Officer, Farmers’ Union of Wales.

Read more: Joint Industry Guidance on Sheep Shearing

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Preparations must be made for EU elections to avoid next cliff edge FUW tells PM

 

Farmers' Union of Wales President Glyn Roberts has written to Prime Minister Theresa May warning that preparations should be made for EU parliamentary elections in May to avoid taking options off the table which are in our nations' interest.

The call comes following reports that the Prime Minister had written to the EU seeking an extension to the Article 50 period until 30 June. However, details of a leaked internal EU diplomatic memo published by the Independent online suggests that the leaders of the 27 Member States who must approve any extension period will have to choose either a short extension to before May 23, or a long delay until at least the end of the year.

The memo states that an extension until 30 June "...would entail serious legal and political risks for the European Union and would import some of the current uncertainties in the United Kingdom into the EU27” and that “Any extension offered to the United Kingdom should either last until 23 May 2019 or should be significantly longer and require European elections.”

Mr Roberts’ letter states that while the FUW supports the revocation of Article 50 in order to take full control over the Brexit process, and allow it to take place over a safe and realistic timescale, “...if a short delay is agreed by the EU but Parliament again finds itself unable to reach agreement in the weeks leading up to the new deadline, we may have no choice but to leave the EU without an agreement if we have not made the necessary preparations for the European Parliament elections in May.”

Mr Roberts acknowledges that there “...may be mechanisms by which to overcome ...[the problems of having to hold an MEP election]...such as rolling over the representation of current MEPs, but given that the EU requires notifying of candidates and arrangements in the coming weeks, we believe it is essential that preparations should be made for a possible European Parliament election in May.”

He goes on to say: “Failure to do this is likely to take one or more of the future op

Read more: Preparations must be made for EU elections to avoid next cliff edge FUW tells PM

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Are you under 40 and run a rural business in Pembrokeshire?

If you or someone you know, under the age of 40, is running a rural business in Pembrokeshire, if you farm in your own right or provide a service to the agricultural sector, run a cake making business, electrical or plumbing services, crafts, music teaching or food processing, then the FUW Countryside Business Award could be just the thing for you.

To be eligible for the award the individual must be 40 years of age or under on 1 January 2019 and be actively involved in a business based in rural Pembrokeshire. The deadline for entries is Friday 31 May 2019.

A £200 cash prize, perpetual trophy and a year’s free membership will be awarded to the winner.

“There are a host of fantastic businesses in rural Pembrokeshire who all do a great job in keeping the wheel of our rural economy turning. With the award we want to recognise the fantastic work our young people do to keep the rural areas of Pembrokeshire vibrant and economically active places.

Read more: Are you under 40 and run a rural business in Pembrokeshire?

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FUW seeks clarification on tariff proposals that appear to breach WTO rules

 

The Farmers' Union of Wales has written to the UK Treasury asking for clarification after the UK Government published no-deal Brexit proposals which appear to fly in the face of World Trade Organisation rules.

According to the UK Government's website, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, tariffs and Tariff Rate Quotas would apply to a range of products, but "...The UK’s temporary import tariffs will...not apply to goods crossing from Ireland into Northern Ireland."

Speaking after a meeting of Committee Chairs and Vice Presidents, FUW Head of Policy Nick Fenwick said: "Press reports that tariffs would be charged for a variety of imported goods in the event of a no-deal Brexit except those crossing from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland have caused all sorts of confusion, and were assumed to be down to a misinterpretation by reporters.

"However, the Government website states clearly that this would be the case."

Dr Fenwick said that this appeared to fly in the face of World Trade Organisation and EU rules.

"If the Government said it was going to apply tariffs to all imports except those entering the UK from Germany, without any form of trade deal in place, this would clearly be a breach of WTO rules. It would also go against the rules of the EU because Germany is in the Single Market.

Read more: FUW seeks clarification on tariff proposals that appear to breach WTO rules

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Undeb Amaethwyr Cymru and Farmers’ Union of Wales are the trading names of FUW Ltd, which is registered in Wales no. 10935716