EU Referendum

EU referendum: Farming support 'to continue on Brexit'

Farmer in a tractor Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Leaving the EU could free up more money to support farming, Mr Eustice says

Farmers in Wales would enjoy "as much support" as they currently receive if Britain left the EU, a Leave-supporting UK government minister has said.

George Eustice said leaving the EU would be an opportunity to deliver change for the Welsh farming industry.

But pro-EU politicians say leave campaigners are in no position to guarantee funding for farmers.

Wales' Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths said a Remain vote was needed secure farming.

UK Farming Minister Mr Eustice said he had identified a number of potential new schemes for agriculture.

The Vote Leave campaign said that a Leave vote in the 23 June referendum would free up £2bn that could be spent on measures including insurance schemes and incentives for farmers.

'Modest'

This could mean more money and better support for Welsh farmers, Mr Eustice said.

"If we vote to leave on 23 June, the UK government will continue to give Welsh farmers and the environment at least as much support as they get now," he said.

"The prime minister has made that clear and I agree with him.

"In the scheme of things, the amount of money spent on our countryside and wildlife is very modest when compared with spending on other departments.

"But we could spend our money more effectively if we had control."

Image caption Lesley Griffiths says Brexit would put more than 90% of agricultural exports at risk

Responding for the Remain campaign, Ms Griffiths said: "Vote Leave are in no position to guarantee funding for Welsh farmers, particularly after one of their own economists admitted the UK could expect to see £60bn of lost growth in the event of a leave vote.

"That would leave less money and support for our agriculture, as well as ending free access to our most important markets.

"More than 90% of our agricultural exports go to our European neighbours.

"Risking these trading links - as well as a recession that would leave less money for the funding our farmers need - is not a risk worth taking.

"We need to vote Remain to secure funding, access to markets and a decent, tolerant Britain."

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