Saturday, 30 April 2016


A Plaid Cymru government will seek to establish a National Bank of Wales (NBW), a publicly-owned bank similar to the German Landeskreditbanken, providing debt finance to Welsh businesses and taking longer-term equity stakes to help plug the estimated funding gap of £500m a year faced by Welsh SMEs. Finance Wales operations will be merged into new institution.

This institution will work with Welsh Government and the new WDA to grow Welsh Mittelstand companies; it will in particular offer succession and equity release planning specialists, involving the use of management buyouts and employee ownership trusts, and the adoption of long-term equity stakes as a public bank, providing a source of patient finance on the German model in successful Welsh companies in order to maintain Welsh ownership, preventing the ownership churn that has damaged so many successful Welsh companies, and therefore safeguarding jobs.

The term Mittelstand mostly applies to small to mid-sized firms in German speaking countries. Most importantly Mittelstand companies are characterized by a common set of values and management practices. What defines the Mittelstand, is a broad set of values such as: Family-like corporate culture; long-term focus; independence; nimbleness; emotional attachment, investment into the workforce; flexibility; innovativeness; customer focus; social responsibility; strong regional ties.

The owner or owners take the business decisions largely on their own – and assume the risks and liability. In these companies, the boss usually has close ties with the business and the employees and bears a particular responsibility for ensuring job security. Mittelstand companies are often hailed for providing the backbone of the world’s fourth-largest economy. They tend to be family-owned, tucked away in small towns and familiar only to the businesses that buy their specialised machinery and components.

The Mittelstand also appears to offer a solution to some of the biggest worries of the capitalist system. One being the centralisation of wealth and the other is unemployment. The combination of medium-sized companies with deep local roots and a strong apprenticeship system means that in Germany only 7.8% of those aged 25 or under are unemployed, compared with 22.1% in Sweden and 54% in Spain. Mittelstand firms inspire extraordinary loyalty in their workers: on average only 2.7% of them leave each year, compared with the 30% turnover at some big American companies.

Over time NBW will develop into a deposit taking institution, involved in mainstream business banking, and providing banking facilities to the Welsh public sector, allowing it to use fractional reserve banking to expand its lending capacity. It will separately create a series of sector specific and independently managed seed and risk capital funds for high-growth innovation-based businesses.

Plaid Cymru will also look to build on the work of the Sector Panels, Industry Wales and other existing industry fora to support the development of sector associations to help us develop strategies in every area of the economy. We will do everything we can to support the steel industry in Wales, pressing the UK Government and EU to take radical action to protects the industry from unfair competition, procuring Welsh steel wherever possible as part of our infrastructure investment programme and actively exploring the possibility of a joint venture investment to improve the long-term competitiveness of the Port Talbot steelworks.

Friday, 29 April 2016


When spending public money, it’s important to work it extremely hard and extract every single possible benefit. We need to take a fresh look public sector procurement of goods and services in Wales and ensure that an increasing percentage of our public sector spend is targeted towards local businesses and local suppliers. When taxpayers’ money is being spent, it is important that every single possible added value be squeezed out of it and it is vital that we spend as much of possible of it as we can to support Welsh businesses. 

At a very simple economic level a sustained and encouraged ‘buy local’ campaign is a real economic must, while this will necessitate legislation to improve public procurement, it is something that can provide real opportunities for Welsh based business within the procurement chain – potentially this could create some 50,000 new jobs. Significantly improved local procurement policy can create and secure jobs, boost employment levels and help small to medium sized enterprises in many of our communities. 

Again at a very basic level it comes down to maximising the local economic opportunities from the £ 4.3 billion pound public sector spend in Wales – which is used to procure and purchase goods and services.  There have been some real improvements when it comes to public procurement over the last ten years, but, there is still room for substantial improvements to be made.  The increase in Welsh procurement of goods and services from 34% in 2003 to 52%  (June 2012) something that follows extensive efforts by Plaid Cymru as part of the One Wales government (between 2007 and 2011).

A Plaid Cymru government will legislate to make it mandatory for public sector bodies to follow Welsh Government policy on procurement. Social, employment and environmental considerations will be given the same weight of consideration as price when choosing a supplier.

The Party of Wales will use the freedoms provided under the new Public Contracts Directive to achieve maximum social and environmental benefits, including payment of the Welsh Living Wage for all employees and the MacFarlane standard of a minimum of one year’s employment for a person from a disadvantaged background employed per £1 million expenditure. We will also seek to expand and extend the role of the social sector in the provision of public services and goods.

All public sector agencies will need to reach agreed standards of one procurement specialist, with appropriate professional accreditation, per £10 million expenditure by 2020. We will provide direct funding for an additional ten experienced public procurement managers to the National Procurement Service to increase our ability to achieve our goal of increasing local purchasing while continuing to improve quality of service.

All public authorities in Wales, under the aegis of the Welsh Government, will be required to provide comprehensive real-time supplier information so that we can operate a Open Contract system publishing the details of every public service supplier and buyer in Wales, including future pipelines, providing an accurate and up-to-date picture of the level of Welsh SME procurement while helping increase it.

We will set a target of keeping 75% of first-tier Welsh public procurement expenditure within Wales, with locally-owned or locally controlled firms, cooperatives and charities (defined on an independently agreed basis), to create in excess of 40,000 new private and social sector jobs, and develop a further target for 2nd tier and 3rd tier suppliers in larger contracts.

We will achieve this in part through ensuring appropriately sized contracts for small and medium sized companies and by providing direct support to Welsh firms seeking Welsh public contracts. The new WDA will work with the National Procurement Service to identify two to three initial priority areas for supply chain development e.g. construction and care services. Our Government will establish a digital currency for Wales – the first of its kind at a national scale – and use it on an experimental basis to procure services and accept payments to measure its potential for retaining the flow of money within the Welsh economy.

The bottom line has to be that if we are going to spend public money then it is only right that it be worked extremely hard and we need to maximise the economic impact every single penny and every single pound and to make sure that it works to help the Welsh economy. Back in 2013 for every £2 spent procuring goods and services, £1 of that ‘leaked’ out of Wales and the Welsh economy.  Value Wales suggested that for each 1% increase in goods or services procured from Wales, some 2,000 jobs are created.

So if we can achieve a local public spend of something close to 75% then potentially some 46,000 additional jobs can be created. The impact of a well thought out and implemented public procurement policy is something that could economically give and give again. This is the crux of the matter, it could be a real win win situation for Wales, potentially cutting unemployment by around a third or about the same number as the increase in unemployment that we have suffered since the recession began. 

Thursday, 28 April 2016


Wales needs to have substantially more affordable housing otherwise an entire generation will miss out on the reasonable expectation of having a decent home.  Plaid Cymru believes that the supply of more affordable housing should be met through a combination of bringing empty properties back into use, and new developments of mixed housing in the social and private sectors. However, we also want local needs and environmental sustainability to be taken into account.

The Party of Wale will create a National Housing Company which will borrow against rents to build a new generation of public rental housing in Wales limited in number only by demand. We will also support Local Authorities wishing to build new Council Housing.

Local Authorities will be expected to agree targets for supplying affordable housing, including new social housing, with the Welsh Government, but will be given the flexibility to decide how they would achieve this based upon the needs of their area. Local Authorities will be able to develop joint plans with neighbouring local authorities, or work through housing associations or the National Housing Company, if they believed this was the best way to meet the needs of their areas.

A Plaid Cymru government will fund the development of new homes in small-scale housing developments in rural Wales on ‘exception sites’, whose land plots, not covered by general planning permission, will be capped at an affordable price designed to benefit those in local housing need with family and work ties to the area, and whose sale will be conditional on these houses continuing in local ownership in perpetuity.

Plaid Cymru has consistently opposed the Right to Buy scheme and we will take action to ensure the social housing stock remains intact in order to meet the demand for homes. We need to introduce a more rigorous system in the allocation of social housing to give priority to those in local housing need. And to support the release of public land as self-build plots for affordable homes, to buy and to lease, and allow housing associations to build their own high-quality prefabricated homes as the Accord Housing Association successfully does in Walsall.

Historically our communities have been ill-served by the planning system, by our local authorities (via the flawed system of Unitary Development Plans) and more recently by the Labour in Wales Welsh Government in Cardiff. With increasing pressure from over development community cohesion is under threat, along with increased demand on overstretched local amenities, our NHS and our green spaces.

Perhaps before constructing large numbers of new houses which fail to tackle local housing needs we should take a long hard look at the number of empty properties – something that remains largely unaddressed in many of our communities. We need a planning system that takes account of local housing needs, the environment (and seeks to create protected green belt land around and within our large and small urban communities) and also looks sustainability at the whole of Wales – and we will only get it with a Plaid Cymru government in Cardiff Bay.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


A Plaid Cymru government will involve the private sector and its representative bodies in providing business support and advice aimed at small businesses (less than 10 employees) by strengthening the current Business Wales network. Plaid Cymru will also pass a Regulatory Reform Act to lower the bureaucratic burden on business.

Plaid will increase business rate relief so that more than 70,000 small and medium companies will pay no business rates at all. Any firm with a rateable value of less than £10,000 per year will pay no business rates and a Plaid government will introduce a tapered relief for another 20,000 firms whose rateable value is between £10,000 and £20,000. In order to enourage new startups Plaid will not charge any business rates due for the first year of operation.

The Party of Wales will review business rates every three years, so that they are kept up-to-date, and investigate the impact of premises investment so that businesses are not penalised for improvements that they make. We will subject small and large businesses to different multipliers as is the case in Scotland and England and will index rates to CPI not RPI.

Additionally targeted business rate reliefs will be offered for larger companies that agree to meet certain criteria on corporate social responsibility – including opportunities for local suppliers, the Welsh Living Wage, the minimisation of waste and the use of renewable energy. Businesses of all sizes that meet the criteria will be entitled to display a kitemark as responsible Welsh businesses.

Plaid Cymru in government will act immediately to set up a new fund to enable local authorities and community groups to offer two hours free car parking in towns throughout Wales, providing a vital boost to town centre regeneration across all of Wales. 

We will support social innovation, social enterprise, employee and consumer co-ops. We will establish a co-operative challenge fund to provide financial support for feasibility and market studies and early stage finance for groups exploring the option of establishing cooperatives. Plaid Cymru will support the establishment of a social business school to develop the skills of social entrepreneurs, and a social innovation park to incubate new ideas.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood
Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has today said that her party offers the "only real hope" of brining about and end to 17 years of unbroken Labour rule in Wales. Latest poll shows Plaid closing gap with Labour by four points in just two weeks.

Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme this morning, Leanne Wood said that Plaid Cymru goes into the Welsh Assembly elections with the most ambitious, transformative and workable programme for government of any party in Wales, and is ready to lead the change Wales needs.

The last three opinion polls in Wales have put Plaid Cymru in second place, overtaking the Tories, in terms of the number of projected seats, setting up the party as the main challenger to the current Labour government before people in Wales go to the polls on May 5th 2016.

Speaking after the Today programme, Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood said:

"With just ten days remaining until people in Wales go to the polls, Plaid Cymru's message is one of hope.

"If you're fed up of growing waiting times, falling standards in our schools and a stagnant economy, use all your votes to elect a Plaid Cymru government on May 5th.

"The current administration's complacency and poverty of ambition is holding our country back, but it doesn't have to be this way.

"The Party of Wales represents the only real hope of ending 17 years of unbroken Labour rule. With the Tories slipping back to third place, we are the main challenger and have closed the gap with them on the regional list vote by four points in just two weeks.

"The momentum is firmly with Plaid Cymru. We are confident that we have the most ambitious, transformative and workable programme for government of any party in Wales, alongside the strong and united team required to deliver it.

"If people want change, they have to vote for it. This election is the greatest opportunity in the Assembly's history to chart a new course for our nation. I urge everyone in Wales to seize it."

Monday, 25 April 2016


Time to get SE Wales moving...
In Monmouth constituency and across the south east we need to ensure that our railway stations have more frequent stopping services and have safe, secure and reasonably priced park and ride facilities at Abergavenny, Severn Tunnel and Chepstow. New railway stations at Llanwern, Magor and at Caerleon would do much to cut congestion and boost connectivity within a SE Wales Metro. 

Our bus services should be fully integrated with our rail services and our railway stations should be fully accessible with easy access to services for all passengers. The National Assembly should commit to redevelop and expand our rail services, as has happened in Scotland. Personally I would work for feasibility studies into opening a new station near Little Mill / Penperlleni and into the reopening of the line to Usk and the construction of a new station west of the town. 

Research by the IMF in 2015 calculated that for every £1 spent on infrastructure some £3’s worth of additional economic activity is created. Wales needs investment, job creation and improvements in its infrastructure; such investment could yield real meaningful and lasting benefits for our people and our communities. The more job creation we can stimulate and the better improvements to our infrastructure, then the better the long-term prospects will be for the Welsh economy.

Friday, 22 April 2016


This election for many people comes down to who can be trusted to save and strengthen the NHS in Wales. We thankfully have more than a choice of running it down or selling it off. Previously under Labour the NHS in Wales had been run down and over centralised, with services such as local A&E departments being downgraded. While the Tories, all our NHS services would be at risk of privatisation.

This election is seen by many, as a referendum on the way our NHS is run. Under Labour it has been run down and over centralised; under the Tories it could be sold off. Only Plaid Cymru will deliver high quality hospital services delivered as close to people as possible.

Centralisation has not worked, and flies in the face of geographical reality this is why Plaid Cymru will seek to develop a strong network of hospital services throughout Wales, with community and life-saving services delivered as close to home as possible, and a network of specialist services serving the nation as a whole.

After seventeen years of Labour rule, patients in Wales have to wait longer for services than elsewhere in the UK. Welsh patients and our NHS staff deserve much better. We deserve a comprehensive service that is planned and managed properly. Plaid Cymru is the change Wales needs.

It’s time for a party with clear plans to save and strengthen the NHS. Plaid Cymru will increase the number of doctors and nurses in NHS, reduce waiting times by speeding up test and discharge times, and will ensure that hospital services remain close to people. Only the Party of Wales can be trusted to protect hospital services.

A Plaid Cymru government will work to deliver hospital services as close to patients as possible, by creating a Community NHS to deliver primary care services as close to home as possible, providing consultant-led Accident and Emergency and Maternity services within one hour’s reach of rural and peripheral communities, and a network of specialist treatment centres serving the nation as a whole.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Here's one I did earlier...  back in 2015
Civic society is truly alive and well in Monmouth constituency, and just as in every election I have been involved in since 1999 there are plenty of well-attended Hustings, where voters can quiz the candidates. 

The only other way to talk to voters is literally on the doorstep - when you catch people a) in and b) with the time to talk, in Monmouth constituency people raise many issues, including the bankers, Westminster MP’s corruption and expenses, recycling, affordable housing, council tax, and our NHS. 

The closing of local post offices and banks remains an issue, Europe, the referendum and immigration come up but not that regularly. The poor state of public transport (especially buses to and from Monmouth town) does come up more regularly, along with the need for better school transport, saving the smaller village and community schools. The Severn Bridge Tolls, which are a tax on jobs, commuters and businesses, comes up regularly as does the ongoing issue of better treatment for our solders, their families, our service veterans, the legacy of Blair’s wars along with other issues.

  • The next Hustings in Monmouth constituency has been organised by Transition Towns. It's taking place tonight Thursday 21st April (at 7:30pm) at The Bridges Community Centre, in Monmouth (NP25 5AS

  • After that comes the Farmers Union Wales Hustings, which is taking place on Tuesday 26th April 2016 at 19.30pm Abergavenny RFC, in Abergavenny.

Monday, 18 April 2016


Monmouth Bridge
Plaid’s is committed to boosting the tourism sector by doubling the budget for Visit Wales and increasing the Visit Wales budget from £7m to £14m. A Party of Wales government would designate 2018 a Year of Welsh Food and Drink, 2019 a ‘Celebrate Wales’ year, and create a National Academy for the Welsh Tourism sector to provide ‘hands-on’ learning experience for students.

The importance of the tourism across Wales both as an employer and as a way of attracting investment into the country has long been recognised. This is why a Plaid government will double the Welsh Government’s funding for Visit Wales (from £7m to £14m) so that they are better placed to attract tourists to Wales.

The Party of Wales will continue to bring more people to Wales and improve the tourist experience by ensuring joined-up services and knowledge so that tourists can stay close to events, that hotels have access to the latest tourism information, that public transport is available when required and that hotels can provide the best quality of service, including the use of foreign languages.”

Something that will directly benefit the small businesses, food suppliers and food producers in Monmouth constituency is Plaid Cymru’s plan to designate 2018 a Year of Welsh Food and Drink, in order to boost local producers and our vital agricultural industry, as well as support small businesses and sellers who form the stepping stone between farm and fork.

The Welsh Government must also work hard to promote Wales as a world-class, sustainable tourism destination with activities and experiences based on our natural resources, our produce, our unique coast and landscape and our language, culture and heritage. 

We also need to give our young people the opportunity to develop careers and businesses in the hospitality industry. This is why Plaid Cymru will also create a National Academy for the Welsh Tourism sector to provide ‘hand-on’ learning to students in catering and hospitality from apprenticeships up to degree level

Sunday, 17 April 2016


We need to improve rail services across Wales, planning to integrate bus and rail timetables and introduce new light rail networks, combined with active travel proposals, to keep Wales moving. Plaid Cymru has put forward a realisticvision of the future of Wales’ transport infrastructure, which includes investing in new light rail networks, community rail and safe walking and cycling routes. We also need to ensure that our public transport networks are fully integrated, so that it is as easy as possible for people to use it in their daily lives.

Lets be honest about the fact that when it comes down the revitalising of our railways (a vital part of our transport infrastructure) Wales comes of second best in comparison with Scotland and parts of England. Part of the reason comes down to the poor devolutionary settlement which failed to give Wales adequate powers in relation to infrastructure developments and part of it relates to a simple lack of will on the part of the recent Labour in Wales Government in Cardiff.  

A strong transport network is obviously particularly important in rural communities, which is why Plaid Cymru wants to create a fully integrated public transport network. It is worth noting that back February 2006,The Transport (Wales) Act, which came into effect, this gave the National Assembly powers to plan and co-ordinate an integrated transport system.

How much longer do we have to wait to see some real vision and action rather than words? In the absence of any real leadership from Cardiff Bay and Westminster the rail companies have continued to ramp up rail fares, attempting to reduce rail services, all with the tacit co-operation of successive Westminster Government's (regardless of their political hue) and the Department for transport (in London). 

Such duplicity has never been acceptable - it’s time for our government in Cardiff to take the long term view, to bite the bullet and actually put its money where its mouth is and work to redevelop our rail services, boost the development of rail freight and to co-ordinate rail and bus services across the whole of Wales. To do this effectively Wales needs to have full control of it's transport policy and transport budget devolved as quickly as possible and the franchise when it is renewed in 2017 needs to be run on a not for profit basis. 

The Party of Wales supports public ownership over the railway and we will continue to seek unrestricted control over awarding future rail franchises. When Plaid Cymru was in government we made investing in infrastructure a priority, and Wales continues to feel the benefit of this investment. We are ready to continue with this project, and invest in rail, road and digital infrastructure right across Wales.

In Monmouth constituency we need to ensure that our railway stations have more frequent stopping services and have safe, secure and reasonably priced park and ride facilities at Abergavenny, Severn Tunnel and Chepstow. New railway stations at Llanwern and Magor and at Caerleon / Ponthir would do much to cut congestion.
Our bus services need to be fully integrated with our rail services and our railway stations should be fully accessible with easy access to services for all passengers. The National Assembly should commit to redevelop and expand our rail services, as has happened in Scotland and some parts of England. Personally I would work for feasibility studies into a new station near Little Mill / Penperlleni and into the reopening of the line to Usk and the construction of a new station west of the town.

Thursday, 14 April 2016


Plaid Cymru will establish a Smart Card system in order to give people who live in Wales access to their universal entitlements. Through the smart card, people will be able people to access entitlements including free prescriptions, free bus travel for the over 60s, and free access to museums. The Party of Wales will seek to expand this list of entitlements when Wales has the power to do so, including offering citizens zero toll charges on the Severn Bridge, and unlimited rail and bus travel, for an annual fee.

Launching the policy, Simon Thomas said that the cards would symbolise a new relationship between Welsh Government and the citizens it serves.

Plaid Cymru Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire candidate Simon Thomas said:

“Plaid Cymru will establish a new way of working across government, and between government and citizen, delivering effectively for the people of Wales.

“If elected in May, Plaid Cymru will create a Smart Card for everyone who lives in Wales, which will become the main system of delivering universal entitlements.

“Plaid Cymru’s Smart Card will entitle users to free prescriptions, free bus travel for the over 60s, free access to museums and many other entitlements.

“And as the Assembly gains powers over other aspects such as the Severn Bridge tolls, we will scrap charges for card carriers.

“Plaid Cymru will establish a new relationship between Welsh Government and the people of Wales, and our Smart Card is a symbol of that.”

Plaid Cymru Aberafan candidate Bethan Jenkins said:

“Plaid Cymru’s Smart Card will deliver free universal entitlements for the people of Wales. Under a Plaid Cymru government your Smart Card will give you access to free bus travel and free entry to museums and a series of other entitlements, and we look forward to extending this of entitlements list in future.

“It’s time for a government with a focus on what it can deliver for the people of Wales and Plaid Cymru is the change Wales needs.”

Wednesday, 13 April 2016


A Plaid Cymru government, if elected in May, is committed to being a strong voice for Wales’s rural communities. For far too long, Labour Ministers have consistently undermined our vital agriculture industry by making Wales the most controlled country in Europe – a decision that took £250 million out of the pockets of Welsh farmers.

Plaid Cymru wants to put this right by bringing forward policies that will ensure that the industry prospers in future. Our agriculture manifesto includes ambitious but achievable proposals to address Labour’s CAP fiasco and make sure Welsh farmers have a stronger voice in CAP simplification discussions, and scrap the six-day-standstill rule which is hampering farm businesses at the very time we need more flexibility.

Plaid Cymru has a strong track record of supporting agriculture and campaigning for rural service. Plaid’s pledges for our farmers and the agricultural sector include:

  •         A fair price for produce.
  •      Maximize benefits to Wales from the next CAP.
  •      Use the most effective measures to control and eradicate bTB
  •      Appoint an Industry Champion to promote welsh food and farming.
  •      Strengthen the voice of rural communities by establishing Rural Parliament.

The Party of Wales would also introduce a strategy to save council farms from being sold off, under a wider programme to support new entrants into the industry. As part of Plaid Cymru’s wider proposals to raise procurement levels throughout Wales, Plaid would ensure that the agriculture industry benefits from this by increasing the amount of Welsh food purchased by the public sector.

Monday, 11 April 2016


I am happy to pledge support for beer drinkers and pub-goers in Wales by supporting CAMRA and it’s Manifesto for Wales. Pubs are absolutely key to the social and cultural lives of many towns and villages – which has been the case for centuries - in Monmouth constituency and across Wales many pubs play a vital prominent role in community life. 

We must protect the role pubs have in our society as well as in our economy, and so I am pleased to pledge my support for CAMRA and for well-run community pubs and breweries. I share CAMRA’s concern about the business rates faced by pubs. Too many people across Wales are put off from starting businesses due to high rates that they face.

Plaid Cymru has already pledged to cut business rates for small firms, but and extending the Rural Rate Relief to more pubs is certainly something I would personally be interested in looking into. Community pubs and real ale breweries specifically fit into Plaid Cymru’s vision of a Welsh economy that has community-focused SMEs as its backbone, so I have signed up to CAMRA’s election manifesto. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016


Our membership of the European Union brings massive benefits to the Welsh agricultural industry and our farming communities. As a result, our economy benefits by around £5.8billion. Wales receives significant financial support from the EU’s structural funds. The CAP provides the Welsh farming industry with substantial financial resources supporting over 80% of Welsh farmers.

DEFRA’s own figures indicate that around 55% of the UK’s agricultural income comes from CAP. In addition to the direct payments, rural communities across Wales will receive, through the Rural Development Programme, over £900m between 2014 and 2020, with over half of this funding coming from Europe.

Our ability to trade with European markets has led to Britain’s agri-food exports more than doubling over the last ten years. If Welsh farmers found themselves outside the single market then our agricultural exports to Europe would face a tariff of 14% on top of the selling price, with a higher tariff imposed on certain items.

Last year, ‘Hybu Cig Cymru’ received over £3m to promote Welsh lamb and beef to our key markets – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Ireland. Leaving the EU would result in the UK’s beef and lamb industry incurring additional costs under export rules imposed by the World Trade Organisation. 

The advocates of Brexit suggest that the Treasury in London would make up for the loss of funds if the UK left the EU. There is of course no guarantee that this will happen. In fact, politicians, particularly those representing our big cities and urban conurbations are calling for further cuts to agricultural spend that comes from the EU.

For Welsh farming communities in particular, it is vital that we remain part of the EU. Our unrestricted access to a market of 500 million people is key to Welsh business and the prosperity of our agricultural industries. It would be simply madness if we turned our backs on one of our biggest export markets simply to indulge in the politics of Fantasy Island.