Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) chair Kevin Roberts said this situation would damage exports due to additional tariffs.
“We have consistently warned of the potential consequences of a hard, chaotic Brexit. I’d like to sound that warning yet again,” he said. “It would provide a sudden, seismic shock to our red meat sector. Tariffs at any level would be a tourniquet on trade – and the unthinkable, a no-deal Brexit, would be catastrophic for our stakeholders. To be blunt, in that scenario there would be no European exports.”
Roberts reiterated that the Welsh meat sector needed to be able to “trade fairly and freely” and asserted that the industry’s future was bright if a hard exit could be avoided. Referring to HCC’s strategic Vision 2025 document, launched in May, he added: “There’s no doom and gloom here; it’s a bold, ambitious and confident prospectus for the long term future of Welsh livestock farming.
“It’s OUR industry’s plan for sustainability, continuation and growth – whatever vagaries Brexit throws at us.”
He praised the Welsh Assembly for its support. “Our Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths, and the Welsh Government have shown steadfast support for HCC in achieving these aims. By working together, we can counter short-term setbacks and deliver a prosperous industry that produces sustainably, enhances natural resources and underpins the Welsh economy for generations to come.
“In times of unsettling change, we must strive to protect our producers, to empower their progress towards profitability and, in doing so, furnish this great industry with full fitness for the future.”
Earlier this month European trade body FoodDrinkEurope backed UK food industry calls for a frictionless Brexit.