Boris Johnson sacrificing Welsh agriculture on the altar of Brexit ideology – Hywel Williams MP


Plaid Cymru challenges PM on his ‘fundamentally dishonest’ assertions during Wales visit.

Plaid Cymru’s Brexit spokesperson Hywel Williams MP has challenged Boris Johnson for attempting to mislead Welsh farmers about the measures the British Government could take to prepare for a crash out Brexit on 31 October.

During a visit to a farm near Newport on Tuesday (30 July), the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson MP, suggested that ‘export refunds or deficiency payments or income support or whatever’ could be used as measures to prepare farmers for no-deal.

Mr Williams pointed out that export subsidies for agriculture have been banned under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules since 2015. During the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015, WTO members agreed that export subsidies for agriculture would be phased out.

Export subsidies have a negative impact for developing countries as they tend to depress world prices by boosting the supply of products, thereby negatively affecting the competitiveness of countries that cannot provide similar support.

Hywel Williams said:

“To suggest that export refunds could be used to protect Welsh farmers from the combined hit of losing their biggest export market and losing direct payments is fundamentally dishonest. 

“Following years of talking up WTO rules, Mr Johnson should know that export subsidies are specifically banned under those very rules and are being formally phased out due to their damaging impact on developing countries.

“Boris Johnson is again trying to mislead the people of Wales with undeliverable promises. He will need more than that if he hopes to alleviate the worries of Welsh farmers, who are facing losing 92.5% of their lamb export trade if we go over the cliff edge on 31 October.

“It is high time for honesty in our politics. Now that it is clear that Boris Johnson is willing to sacrifice the Welsh economy on the altar of his Brexit ideology, we must go back to the people to give them the opportunity to reverse this Brexit mess.”

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