HAVING returned home from the annual NFU Cymru Welsh council meeting held in Cardiff recently, there was a sprinkling of snow over the hills of Clwyd.

In fact, at long last it felt quite normal for this time of year!

As farmers, we cope extremely well with the vagaries of the weather, but I much prefer a brief snow shower to a full-scale blizzard followed by dangerous icy conditions on our relatively steep access lane.

As the weather improves, we soon forget about freezing taps and unlagged water pipes, only to face the same problem the following year.

How short sighted is that?

Maybe this year is the one where I finally employ suitable measures to deliver a permanent remedy.

At the Welsh council, we listened to Tom Surrey, deputy director for trade policy and strategy at Defra, outlining our possible future trading arrangements with Europe.

It struck me as ironic that the EU tariffs currently protecting our beef and sheep-meat industry in the UK are the same tariffs that could potentially penalise us post-Brexit.

For sure, this issue is not as clear-cut as it might appear at first sight.

US crime writer Michael Connelly’s fabled detective Harry Bosch operates to the premise that ‘everybody counts in this world or nobody counts’.

In considering Brexit and its wider implications, politicians of all persuasions would be well advised to heed this advice.

When the way forward is clearly problematic, our elected MPs and AMs have a responsibility not to pursue their own personal preference, be it Leave or Remain; rather they should be striving for a solution that attempts to respect the view expressed by the electorate as a whole.

Essentially, the country was split approximately 50/50 when the referendum vote was held in 2016 and the result only mandated one absolute, namely that we discontinue our EU membership.

The marginal nature of the result and, more importantly, its precise meaning has confounded Westminster politicians for months and there is still much uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The matter may become clearer as we approach Brexit day on March 29 but, as I write, this is by no means guaranteed.

The whole process could also drag on for longer if the UK/EU agree to extend the Article 50 timeframe.

Ultimately, it seems to me few will be entirely satisfied with the final outcome, but maybe that’s inevitable if Brexit is to accommodate a broad range of competing and opposing views.

Cym’rwch ofal wrth eich gwaith.


NFU Cymru Clwyd county chairman