The Welsh Lib Democrats have today revealed that the Conservative Government has not conducted any analysis of the impact of Brexit on sheep farming in the UK.
The revelation was made after a Liberal Democrats freedom of information request to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the Department did not hold any information or documents relating to an assessment of the impact of Brexit on sheep farming.
A response from DEFRA added: “We [DEFRA] can confirm that to the best of our knowledge the information is not held by another public authority.”
Andrew Lye, Chair of Pembrokeshire Liberal Democrats said:
Anyone who attended a meeting with Pembrokeshire For Europe last week in Narberth would have heard Huw Thomas, the Political Advisor for NFU Cymru speak on the devastating effect a no deal Brexit would have on Welsh farming and on sheep farming, especially. With just 3 weeks until we are due to leave the EU on 29th March, the fact no one knows how we are leaving is adding to the uncertainty and the disastrous effects it could have on our farmers. With Pembrokeshire as a rural county, our farmers have a good reason to expect better.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds added:
“It beggars belief the UK Government has failed to carry out assessments on the impact of Brexit on sheep farming. This speaks volumes about the UK Government’s incompetence on Brexit and their disdain for Welsh farming.
“Whilst the Conservative UK Government may be more concerned with appeasing large landowners in England, they appear to have forgotten the farmers and small businesses at the heart of rural communities across Wales.
“How can the UK Government not know how Brexit will impact one of the most important areas of Welsh farming? And how are Welsh farmers expected to have confidence in a UK Government that forgets about them?
“Substantial questions must be asked about the effectiveness of Conservative MPs representing rural constituencies across Wales. How can they claim to be standing up for rural communities if their UK Government appears to be ignoring them completely?
“Securing a people’s vote on the final deal is more important than ever to give the option of restoring certainty and security for farmers by remaining in the EU.”