Thursday, 23 August 2018 09:55

Post-Brexit risk for UK farms

Written by  Adam Fricker

Analysts fear that up to 25% of Britain’s farms will be at risk of bankruptcy if farm subsidies aren’t guaranteed by the government post-Brexit.

At present, Britain’s agriculture policy follows the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which provides subsidies for farmers. About 50 - 60% of farm income in the UK comes from EU subsidies, but Prime Minister Theresa May’s Government has only guaranteed the extension of current funding levels to farmers until the end of this parliament.

Phoebe Sleet, research analyst for the research institute Future Directions International, says this has “raised concerns that up to a quarter of farms in the UK could go into bankruptcy as the transition to a new agricultural policy begins, especially those already struggling”.

“While solutions to the UK’s farming policy after Brexit are, finally, being drafted, the lack of preparation indicates a worrying lack of care by Westminster to secure British food security at a time of major risk.”

With Brexit negotiations dragging on, fears have mounted that no formal agreement will be reached, which could lead to a chaotic exit from the EU. 

Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, recently said the Government has been looking at what action would be necessary to ensure Britain’s food security if no agreement can be reached.

Sleet says a no-deal Brexit situation would be especially perilous for the food security of Britain, which is no longer food self-sufficient and must import about 30% of its food from the EU.

“Those EU imports are not easily replaced, either by importing from other sources or through increased self-sufficiency.  Few alternative sources of food imports have been identified.”

This could lead to increased food prices, adding pressure to the one in five households already on the cusp of food insecurity in the UK, says Sleet.

 

More like this

FTA with UK could be a boomer

Dynamic gains in both the New Zealand and United Kingdom economies could be made if some trade barriers were freed up.

Irish ‘sad’ about Brexit

A senior official in the Republic of Ireland (Eire) Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says his country is puzzled and saddened by Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

Brexit: Comedy or tragedy?

OPINION: If you're thinking of holidaying in Britain and love theatre, skip the theatres of London’s West End and head to the House of Commons at Westminster.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

No sh*t Sherlock

Sadly it looks like 2019 is going to be no different from last year regarding the anti-farming stance taken by…

MIA?

Meanwhile, at the same time as the political activists at Bitch & Complain were publicising their dodgy survey results, the…

 
 

» Connect with Rural News