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Wales needs representation at the top table of Europe

06/07/2022

Plaid Cymru’s Rural Affairs spokesperson has argued that it’s time for Wales to formally represent itself at the top table of Europe to make the case for agriculture support.  Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM says that it is extremely worrying that Wales is currently represented at Europe by the UK Conservative Minister, Caroline Spellman, who has made her view clear that she wants to see the abolition of CAP payments to Welsh farmers.

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales regional AM says Welsh farmers were receiving a poor deal in both London and Cardiff.  While the Tories and Lib Dems in Westminster have been actively campaigning to end CAP payment to Welsh farmers, which would devastate the farming industry, Labour in Cardiff has downgraded the Rural Affairs portfolio to a deputy minister position.

Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM said:

"Caroline Spellman has already made the intentions of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats clear when she called for a very substantial cut in the CAP budget leading to the abolition of direct subsidies to farmers – a move that would take away up to 90% of farm business incomes in Wales and shut down the Welsh agriculture industry at a stroke. 

"However damaging this view is to the agricultural industry in Wales it is the only view that will be put forward as a result of Wales not having a voice at the table.  What is more, by downgrading the importance of the rural affairs portfolio to just a deputy ministerial position, Labour has weakened the voice of Welsh farmers further.  This is in direct contrast to the way Elin Jones AM, Plaid’s former Rural Affairs Minister, put the concerns of rural Wales at the top of the government agenda.

"Wales needs an individual voice representing its interests in Europe.  The Tory-Lib Dem UK Minister can’t claim to represent our views when she is actively campaigning to cut millions of funding to Welsh farmers."