PLAID Cymru leader Adam Price warns that the future of Welsh agriculture will be in peril if farmers lose direct payments.
Welsh farmers would be put at a dangerous disadvantage compared to those in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the EU27 if direct payments are lost in the event of Brexit, according to Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price AM.
Plaid Cymru’s manifesto commits to retaining direct payments to farmers, while Labour in Wales plans to follow the Conservatives’ lead in England by phasing them out if Brexit happens.
Currently, well over half of most Welsh farmers’ incomes come from the direct payments they receive through the Common Agricultural Policy. Direct payments provide stability and security to farmers and are crucial in ensuring the vitality of Welsh farms and the wider rural economy.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price AM said:
“The Welsh family farm is the backbone of Wales’ rural economies and a crucial part of the fabric of our rural communities.
“With over half of most farmers’ incomes coming from direct payments, it is vital that we keep direct payments whatever happens. That’s why I find it so hard to believe that Labour wants to follow the Tories’ lead by phasing them out.
“I’m warning Labour now: if you phase out direct payments, you’re effectively phasing out Welsh agriculture. That’s not something Plaid Cymru could ever stand for.
“Of course, the best way to retain direct payments is to stay in the EU, and that’s why Plaid Cymru wants a final say confirmatory referendum on the whole question of Brexit.
“But in the event that Brexit does eventually happen, we are also committing right now that a Plaid Cymru government would retain direct payments for our farmers, just as the SNP Government has done in Scotland.”