NFU CYMRU has responded to the Parliamentary rejection of a Brexit agreement.

Responding to the Parliament’s rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, NFU Cymru president John Davies said: “It is very clear that Parliamentary support for the Prime Minister’s proposals is simply not there.

"Brexit uncertainties continue to bear down on the sector, meaning that we have no idea of the trading conditions that we might be operating under in a matter of days, something which is having a severe impact on the sector’s confidence and general wellbeing.

“If we are leaving the European Union, then this must be done in an orderly fashion.

"That is why I lent my signature to a letter which went to all MPs, stating that if by Wednesday, April 3 Parliament has not coalesced around a single clear option for an orderly departure from the EU, the government must seek an extension from the EU27 to the Article 50 process.

"Such an extension must be long enough to find a way forward out of the current impasse which delivers a stable operating environment for farm businesses.”

When EU leaders offered to delay Brexit until May 22 if MPs approve Theresa May's deal, Mr Davies said: “While the extension of Article 50 means that Welsh farming businesses will not be hit with the effects of a cliff edge ‘No deal’ Brexit on March 29, this is very much just a stay of execution unless Parliament can reach an agreement on a way forward.

"If that agreement cannot be reached we will still be staring down the barrel of a ‘No deal’ Brexit scenario as early as April 12th and that outcome would have catastrophic, irreparable consequences for Welsh agriculture and our rural communities.

“I urge the Prime Minister and Parliament to put their political differences to one side and take advantage of this small window of opportunity to remove all possibility of a ‘No deal’ Brexit.

"For businesses to have been left in a position of complete uncertainty without any clarity whatsoever for such a long period of time because of the political squabbling we have seen in recent months is, frankly, shameful."

The Welsh Government Blas Cymru / Taste Wales event highlighted that in 2018, 73 per cent of Welsh food and drink exports worth nearly £400 million went to Europe.

"This just proves, even in this period of great uncertainty, that there is still a strong appetite for Welsh produce from our European friends," added Mr Davies.

"It is vital that we maintain free and frictionless access to this important export market."