The UK's historic vote to leave the EU on June 23, or 'Brexit', will not have much adverse impact on farmers in Wales as they will still be receiving the same level of support in future as they are now, the BBC reported George Eustice, a Leave-supporting minister, as saying.
"If we vote to leave on June 23, the UK government will continue to give Welsh farmers and the environment at least as much support as they get now," Eustice claimed. His remarks were made days before the UK citizenry voted to exit from the bloc, concluding the highly controversial and divisive EU referendum.
An ejection from EU membership would in fact help the Welsh farming industry to create changes. Eustice has revealed possible agricultural schemes although 'Remain' officials argued that 'Leave' campaigners do not have the prerogative to determine farming funds. If the majority vote had been to stay in the EU, the farming sector will continue to maintain its position, Wales' Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, commented. "Vote Leave are in no position to guarantee funding for Welsh farmers, particularly after one of their own economists admitted the UK could expect to see GBP60 billion of lost growth in the event of a leave vote," she said.
Other than lower capital and support for Welsh agriculture, Griffiths also pointed to an end of free access to the UK's most important markets. "More than 90% of our agricultural exports go to our European neighbours. Risking these trading links - as well as a recession that would leave less money for the funding our farmers need - is not a risk worth taking. We need to vote Remain to secure funding, access to markets and a decent, tolerant Britain," she explained.
However, Leave proponents believe that about GBP2 billion (US$2.7 billion) could be unlocked following a 'Leave' vote, and spent on insurances and incentives, among the handful of measures to better support farmers. "… we could spend our money more effectively if we had control," Eustice added.