Free Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand: Welsh Farmers

Wales – in the House of Commons on 25th May 2022.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for Welsh farmers following the implementation of the UK’s free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Assistant Whip

The Secretary of State for Wales and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on free trade arrangements. The Wales Office works closely with the Department for International Trade to ensure that Wales will enjoy the benefits that will flood in both directions from free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

The Government’s own impact assessment states that the Australia and New Zealand FTAs will see a reduction in gross value added in agriculture of more than £142 million. The measures are likely to have a disproportionate impact on Welsh agriculture because of its reliance on livestock and dairy farming. NFU Cymru is calling for Wales-specific impact assessments, so will the Minister ensure that they are delivered and that he starts working for Welsh farmers, rather than undercutting them and destroying the industry?

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Assistant Whip

I cannot really accept what the hon. Gentleman says. We were able to import lamb, beef and other kinds of food from Australia and New Zealand when we were members of the European Union. Both countries had an agreement that allowed them to export goods to us without paying tariffs, up to a certain quota, and the fact of the matter is that they never met that quota. It is a bit of a myth that there is cheap beef and lamb in Australia and New Zealand; anyone who wants to look at a website can see what people pay for those goods in Australian and New Zealand supermarkets. They have no plans to increase their flocks or herds. The trade deals that have been agreed are going to be good for farmers and for industry more widely throughout Wales.