There has been a lot of scare mongering about the future post-Brexit but as with any change, opportunities will arise.
What does future trade within the EU look like? The UK relies on over 70% of its agricultural imports from the EU and over 60% of UK agricultural exports are made to the EU. A favourable post-Brexit trade agreement with the EU is vital and the options for Worldwide trade outside of the EU must be negotiated.
There are many possible options available for post-Brexit trade within the EU. Some of the most talked about models include:
Within the UK, a lot of post-Brexit planning was taking place long before the vote on behalf of the rural sector.
The Tenant Farmers Association are exploring opportunities to develop a viable, sustainable farming policy. They are in talks with Government and suggest a policy with:
The CLA view Brexit as the biggest opportunity to make positive changes to the UK’s rural economy in over four decades and they are working with the Government to put in place a framework for success in creating new opportunities for trade outside of the EU. They have outlined 6 principles for building a sustainable rural economy for a “World-leading food, farming and environmental policy” which focus on value for money; food security; environmental enhancement; a dedicated UK budget; clear regulation; and, a productive competitive farming and forestry sector.
The CLA believes that new policy, regulation and trade agreements can build a more sustainable, competitive and successful, rural economy. However, there are of course still concerns despite a positive outlook for the future – the CLA outline the importance of, for example, the Government reducing uncertainty in so far as possible by providing reassurance and clear-cut guidelines to the rural sector.
So what should we take from all of this? The agricultural sector has been under increasing pressure over the last few years. Implemented correctly, the new policies could ensure that UK farming is more competitive and resilient and that regulation of the sector is simpler and more transparent. Whether you voted “in” or “out” the future is changing. There will be opportunities to be had as the post-Brexit position develops and perhaps, this time, the “grass will be greener”.
For further information, please contact Alison Hall, Partner at Hay & Kilner
Call: 0191 232 8345