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Protect the interest of Welsh farmers in our new UK farming policy

Last updated: 02:53pm 8 December 2019

We will protect the interest of Welsh farmers as we design our new UK farming policy and work with the devolved administrations to ensure the strength of the Welsh brand is maintained.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.33

Our verdict

In 2017, farming in the United Kingdom generated a total income of £5.7 billion.  England is the largest contributor, accounting for 71% of the total. Wales accounts for the smallest proportion, at 4.8%. In this context, direct payments under the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union are the main source of income for 42% of farmers, who, between 2014 and 2017, would have otherwise made a loss. As we prepare to leave the EU, therefore, this is a pledge to design a new farming policy, protecting the interests of Welsh farmers and working with the devolved administration to ensure the strength of the Welsh brand.

In November 2018, the government introduced the Agriculture Bill, making provisions to extend various powers (phase-out, delinking, data collection and marketing standards) to Wales. It also established a seven-year agricultural transition period for the region. The bill failed to complete its journey through Parliament.

In August 2019, the government published a document called Farming is changing – here’s what you need to know, outlining changes to agricultural policy upon leaving the EU. The document, which includes information on disconnecting funding from the obligation to farm the land (delinking), and publishing a new framework by 2021, makes no mention of Wales or Welsh farmers.

The government has worked to set out a new farming policy with special provisions for Wales. Nevertheless, the Agriculture Bill 2018 was not passed, and new measures for Wales were not set out by the end of the government’s time in office. As a result, this policy will remain ‘in progress’.

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