Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Deputy Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has raised the concerns of small family farms in Ceredigion about a potential British exit from the European Union with a Minister in the Wales Office during questions in the House of Commons earlier today.
Mark raised concerns during Wales Office questions with the Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Guto Bebb.
Commenting, Mark said “I think it is absolutely vital that we recognise the hugely important role that our membership of the European Union plays for many farmers in Ceredigion and throughout Wales.
“It should come as no surprise that reports from the NFU show that there is a real possibility that ‘Brexit’ could lead to far higher food prices and have a substantial impact on the incomes of hardworking farmers at a time when incomes are already under severe strain.
“With family farms being the backbone of the west Wales rural economy, giving up on our membership of the European Union would have a terrible impact, and I am glad to hear that the Minister is in agreement on this vital question.”
Mr Mark Williams (Ceredigion) (LD)
Small family farms remain the backbone of the west Wales rural economy, but incomes have declined by £5,000 over the past two years. Does the Minister share the concerns of the Farmers Union of Wales, the National Farmers Union and many in the rural economy that the last thing we need to countenance is withdrawal from the European Union?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Guto Bebb)
I entirely endorse the hon. Gentleman’s comments. Both farming unions in Wales—the FUW and the NFU—are strongly in favour of our remaining in the reformed European Union. The extent of Welsh agricultural produce that is exported to the EU shows how important that market is; 90% of Welsh agricultural produce is exported to the EU and we should not risk that.