According to former EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, Franz Fischler, if Brexit negotiations fail, both sides could face “enormous negative consequences”. Despite the UK being due to the leave the EU in March, Theresa May still hasn’t secured a deal, and businesses across many industries are already preparing for a no deal Brexit.
In an interview, Mr Fischler said that if the UK leaves with no deal, there would be a “clear risk” to both the UK and the remaining EU countries. He added: “Nobody should argue [that would] only damage the UK,” and there could be “huge damage for both sides”. He continued that the UK couldn’t just “take away the goodies” from EU membership.
He added: “The negotiations are not going very well and there is a clear risk it comes to a delay. It will anyhow be a loss – a loss for the UK and for the remaining 27 countries. But this loss would be much much bigger if we didn’t have in the end an agreement. Therefore I think it is worth fighting for such an agreement and to negotiate very hard. In the end I have a certain optimism that a common solution will be found.”
In addition to this, he said that Brexit could be a wake up call for the EU. Continuing, he said that reform is needed within the union, in particular, in the farming and agriculture industry. After Brexit, direct payments to farmers will most likely have to be cut after losing the UK’s share of funding towards the Common Agricultural Policy.
Furthermore, farmers in the UK, and especially in Wales could face “big difficulties” when no longer in the UK, and there may be calls for the government to provide additional funding. Farmers rely on the EU markets; trade barriers in some sectors could mean buyers in the EU having to go elsewhere for certain products like meat. He said that farmers in Wales would most likely be worse off as farm subsidies “will not be the same as it is now”. He continued: “The question is will the British government be ready to replace the funds [to support farming] which are now covered by the EU with national funds?”
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