Centre for Rural Economy

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Brexit: How might UK Agriculture thrive or survive?

Assessing possible effects at sector and farm levels

The report from the ESRC project Brexit: How might UK Agriculture thrive or survive? has been released this week. Carmen Hubbard and Mercy Ojo from Newcastle University have worked with colleagues from ESRC, The UK in a Changing Europe, AFBI, SRUC, NFU, Defra UK and AHDB for the past two years. Working together, they have:

  • modelled and assessed the impacts of UK agricultural policy scenarios following Brexit
  • integrated state-of-the-art economic modelling approaches at both sector and farm levels
  • provided a cohesive and robust analysis to support future policy development and decision making

The UK agri-food system will be one of the sectors most seriously affected by Brexit. Trade both within and beyond the European Union is extremely important to the industry. Agricultural producers are also heavily dependent upon seasonal migrant labour. At the moment, farming is both highly regulated and subsidised under the Common Agricultural Policy. Our exit from the EU will shake up the whole system, and the effects will reach far beyond farming.

The report shows differences in effects at the farm and sector levels. Although the agricultural industry can survive and adapt, there is likely to be considerable hardship for individuals, families and businesses. The (continued) uncertainty during negotiations about the Withdrawal Agreement makes it extremely difficult for farmers and the agri-food industry to plan for the future.

Read the report in full.


published on: 12 April 2019