Another warning about Brexit and farming

The future of many UK farming businesses looks uncertain, according to a new report on the agricultural implications of leaving the EU by a University of Warwick academic.

In the report, Professor Wyn Grant of the University of Warwick and the Farmer-Scientist Network, considers topics including the impact on the single farm payment, regulation, plant protection, world trade, animal health and welfare and migrant labour.

Commissioned by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which hosts the Network, it aims to inform and promote debate to highlight the issues which could potentially shape British agriculture.

Speaking in advance of the report’s publication on Thursday 4 February, Professor Grant said it was hard to see any advantage to British farmers in leaving the EU. In the event of a “yes” vote, the lack of contingency planning by the Government would inevitably lead to a period of great uncertainty, for at least two years, as the new regime took shape, making medium and long term planning for farmers extremely difficult, he said: “There is a perception in the industry that leaving the EU would reduce the burden of regulation. I do not think there will be a bonfire of regulations as the problem is not just from Brussels but from gold-plating by London. There are legal complexities which have not been considered.”

Nigel Pulling Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society commented, “While there is some dissatisfaction with Europe there is at least certainty. What this report has highlighted is the complexity of the number of different issues we are facing, but the Government hasn’t filled in any of the blanks.”

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