As the Welsh agricultural industry looks ahead to one of the highlights in the UK livestock calendar, the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, farmers in Wales remain anxious about the prospect of a ‘nightmare’ no-deal Brexit, according to NFU Cymru.

The livestock classes at the annual Royal Welsh Winter Fair 2018 are renowned for hosting some of the finest primestock in the world; however this year’s event, hosted in Llanelwedd, is likely to be the last with the UK still being a member of the European Union.

NFU Cymru livestock board chairman Wyn Evans said: “While political developments seem to gather pace and a draft withdrawal agreement has now been set down by the Prime Minister, the ongoing political uncertainty means that the threat of a no-deal Brexit still looms large, and that outcome would be a nightmare for the Welsh farming industry.

“Today sees the start of the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, an event that is synonymous with the best primestock not just in Wales, but anywhere in the world. "It looks likely that this year’s event will be the last in which the UK is still a member state of the European Union. While the threat of a no-deal Brexit is still at the door, Welsh farmers are rightly worried about the devastating impact that could have on our industry.

“It is clear that opportunities exist for the Welsh farming industry in a future outside of the European Union, but even the most optimistic of Welsh farmers will be wincing when it comes to considering a future where we crash out of the EU and fall back on WTO terms.

"Exports of lamb would face an effective tariff rate of 46 per cent, whilst for beef effective rates would be much higher at anything between 48 per cent and 84 per cent according to the cut. At the same time we could see the UK Government lower or remove import tariffs on imported food."

He added: “The time has come for politicians across all parties to put their political differences aside to secure a future that is in the interest of the people of the UK and Welsh farmers, in particular.

"Farming is a long term business and the ongoing uncertainty over our future relationship with the EU makes it extremely difficult for farmers to take decisions that will affect their businesses long into the future. It’s time that uncertainty was put to bed.”