Thursday, 27 July 2017

Hard Times For Welsh Farmers Ahead.

I must admit those in favour of a Hard Brexit  have a point after all the idea of remaining in the single market after the UK leaves the EU is like the man who resigns from his local club, but who wants to continue using it as a guest. Not paying any membership fee and not voting for the committee or attending the AGM.

The problem is that he may have to pay more to enter the club  and the alternative of local Public Houses is that you might not like the rest of the clientele and find its more expensive. and of course the club may decide he can't use their facilities as he used to  and only be signed in once a week.

But even the Hard Brexiters seem to think that we will still be able to trade with Europe more or less without restriction.

The Wasting Mule reports that Environment Secretary Michael Gove has refused to accept the fears of Welsh farmers who do not think the Government is giving enough priority to a free trade deal with the EU.

 UK Government minister rejected the criticism of farming union leaders who don't think enough progress is being made to allay the risk of a no-deal Brexit they fear would devastate their industry.

Speaking on the opening day of the Royal Welsh Show, he promised that Welsh farmers interests would be taken care of with a comprehensive free trade deal with the European Union.
Asked what certainty he could offer Welsh farmers about trade, Mr Gove said:
 "We can offer them the fact there's going to be a comprehensive free trade deal between Britain and Europe."
Challenged on how he could offer that certainty, he replied:
 "Because it's in the interests of every party."

Welsh Farmers can hardly be reassured  by Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones claim that 

 One of the first things Michael Gove did when he came into post was cancel his meetings with ministers from the other governments. Now, that’s not a good start in terms of building confidence and building partnership...“I haven’t had any meetings at all with him. I’ve not met him.
“Nor has my Environment Secretary.” 
 “There’s been no discussion at all on this. Now, we’ve offered a way forward... We’ve said, look, where powers come back, as they should do from Brussels to Wales and to Scotland and to Northern Ireland, we sit down and we work out what the direction of British farming then should be.
“What kind of frameworks do we want? What sort of rules should there be in place to make sure we can all access each other’s markets – that’s all very sensible but it has to be done in a way that’s done by consent and not by imposition, otherwise you just replicate the European Commission in London and that’s not surely what people voted for.”
Nor can Welsh Sheep farmers be  not worried that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson saying New Zealand was near the front of the queue for a trade deal with Britain once the latter left the European Union.
Johnson said Brexit is not about Britain turning away from the world but, on the contrary, it is about "rediscovering and intensifying friendships and partnerships around the world."
"In trying to do that we see New Zealand at or near the front of the queue."
Neither Johnson nor New Zealand Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee gave many specifics on the details and timing of a future deal. Asked whether this would happen any time soon, Brownlee said:
"They have to formally exit the European Union before they can engage in those discussions," 

There also the reasonable assumption  that a Trade Deal with Trumps USA will hardly be advantages to UK markets .

On Tuesday Donald Trump tweeted triumphantly that the US was working on a “very big and exciting” trade deal with the UK, a day after a visit from Fox to Washington, where he suggested lowering UK food standards may be possible to allow US imports of chlorinated chicken.
In a tweet on Tuesday lunchtime, the US president said his administration was “working on a major trade deal”, adding: “Could be very big & exciting. JOBS!”
Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. Could be very big & exciting. JOBS! The E.U. is very protectionist with the U.S. STOP!

It is clear to me that the vote for Leave  as left us in a position where there are no real advantages . But staying in the Single Market  seems to be the best option.
But how long before we feel that applying to rejoin the EU becomes a call?
Certainly Scotland will do so when it becomes Independent , whether  the remnant of the former Union England.Wales and Northern Ireland will be  welcome back in is open to question.

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