Farmers will receive money in return for public goods when Britain leaves the European Union, prime minister Theresa May has said.
The government will scrap the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in favour of a simpler, “less bureaucratic” scheme which rewards farmers who help improve water quality and reduce emissions, May said.
Speaking at the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, she vowed to do away with the “overly prescriptive information” farmers currently have to provide to get grants from the EU.
In a roundtable meeting with farming unions, John Davies, president of National Farmers’ Union Wales, urged the PM to “show leadership” and stressed the importance of securing a “productive, profitable and progressive future” for Welsh agriculture after Brexit.
“During our conversation I told the prime minister that NFU Cymru was encouraged by the main principles of the recent Chequers agreement,” he said.
Alan Davies, managing director of the Farmers’ Union Wales (FUW), tweeted that it was “great news” and a “real success” for the union’s pleas for clarity on the issue.
Earlier this week, trade body Meat Promotion Wales warned that a no-deal Brexit would cause a “seismic shock” for Welsh farming. Tariffs in that scenario would “act as a tourniquet on trade,” chairman Kevin Roberts said.
May said: “I want to make the most of the freedoms provided by Brexit to design a new scheme that is less bureaucratic, and does away with the overly prescriptive information farmers currently have to provide to apply for grants.
“I commend our hard working farmers up and down the country, and here in Wales, who deserve better than the fundamentally flawed CAP system.”
The PM made her comments despite the fact that her government is only responsible for producing an England-only scheme, with the Welsh alternative under consultation by the Welsh Government.