NFU CYMRU has asked the minister for environment, energy and rural affairs to make an early commitment to maintain the Basic Payment Scheme in Wales for 2021.

In a meeting, NFU Cymru president John Davies asked minister Lesley Griffiths AM to commit to maintain the Basic Payment Scheme unchanged for 2021.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Davies said: “The events in Westminster these last few days mean that our future relationship with the EU remains as uncertain as it has ever been, with the prospect of a general election in the not too distant future, this means further political upheaval, and by extension more uncertainty.

"The fact that the UK Government’s Agriculture Bill was not carried forward when parliament was prorogued means that the intended legal basis for setting Welsh agricultural policy has now also disappeared, and we are now essentially back to square one.

“At the end of last year, Welsh Government announced that the Basic Payment Scheme would remain unchanged in 2020; we welcomed that announcement as it offered Welsh farming some stability at a critical time.

"The uncertainty in the intervening period has only intensified, NFU Cymru considers the possibility of a disorderly Brexit to be a very live possibility, either after a failure to reach an agreement at the end of any extended Article 50 period, or alternatively if the UK fails to agree a future trading relationship with the EU27 during the transition period."

Mr Davies added: “There are many factors completely outside of our control which considered individually or collectively would have a very detrimental impact on Welsh agriculture.

"NFU Cymru is very much of the view that this calls for a cautious and restrained approach from Welsh Government when it comes to developing future agricultural policy.

"We would urge Welsh Government to take its time and not to hasten to move away from the present arrangements until we have a far clearer picture of the sort of future trading relationship we will have with the EU27.

“We fully respect that the timing and nature of Brexit, the general election and the fate of the Agriculture Bill are all outside the hands of Welsh Government, but what we do ask for is the support of Welsh Government on the areas that sit within its remit.

"In our meeting with the minister, we have asked if she will make an early commitment to the continuation of the BPS unchanged for 2021.

“In addition, we have also asked the minister to ensure that the additional £5.2 million per year for the next two years made as part of the UK Government’s response to the Lord Bew review last month is used as a top up to the BPS.

"This funding has been allocated to Wales because average Pillar 1 payments have historically been lower in Wales than in some other parts of the UK. We therefore firmly believe that as the Lord Bew review was about correcting this matter then the additional money should be made as a top up to the BPS and not spent elsewhere.”