Saturday, 7 January 2017

Brexit: and 'lost subsidies, export tariffs and increased competition'

There are so many issues around Brexit and farming:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the Future of Farming @ Radio 4's In Business
Futures Forum: Brexit: and providing certainty for the rural sector
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the future of farming subsidies: part two
Futures Forum: Brexit: and warning of a labour crisis on the land
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the impact on the agriculture industry
Futures Forum: Brexit: and farming without antibiotics
Futures Forum: Brexit: and agri-environment schemes
Futures Forum: Brexit: and parliamentary reports on fisheries and the future of the natural environment

There are plenty of groups and think-tanks who have got something to say - with a talk planned in Devon next week:
Futures Forum: Food Sovereignty and Community Supported Agriculture >>> event 13th January at Trill Farm, Axminster

The Environment Secretary gave a speech mid-week, carrying several messages:
Andrea Leadsom promises Brexit bonfire of regulation for farmers | Politics | The Guardian
British farmers will have access to migrant workers after Brexit, Andrea Leadsom pledges

Which MPs have responded to:

Brexit ‘zombie legislation’ could damage wildlife and farming, MPs warn
Cross-party committee of MPs also say farmers face a ‘triple jeopardy’ of lost subsidies, export tariffs and increased competition
Wednesday 4 January 2017
New trading relationships could lead to competition with nations with lower animal welfare and environmental standards. Photograph: Richard Wayman/Alamy
Brexit could harm the UK’s wildlife and farming, according to a cross-party committee of MPs, with key protections left as ineffective “zombie legislation” and farmers facing a “triple jeopardy” of lost subsidies, export tariffs and increased competition.
A new report from the environmental audit select committee warns that many of the rules governing food production and the environment in the UK come from EU law and that weakening of these rules would damage the countryside and reduce the viability of farms, food security and safety.
The MPs said that for the government to meet its manifesto commitment to “be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than it found it”, ministers must commit to passing a new Environmental Protection Act before it triggers article 50 and starts the formal process of leaving the EU.
The MPs said it was concerning that the environment secretary, Andrea Leadsom, gave no reassurance that farmers would receive subsidies after 2020. But the report also recommended that if a new subsidy regime was put in place, it should focus less on direct income support to farmers and more on delivering public goods, such as preventing flooding, tackling climate change and boosting wildlife.

Brexit ‘zombie legislation’ could damage wildlife and farming, MPs warn | Environment | The Guardian
Environmental Audit Committee - UK Parliament

And during the first week of the New Year, there have been plenty of papers and pronouncements:


Brexit is an opportunity to rebalance British farming, report claims
The end of the Common Agricultural Policy in Britain will be a chance to subsidise sustainable farming, not wealthy landowners, claims a new report

Wednesday 4 January 2017
Small producers can benefit from Brexit 
Brexit is an opportunity to reshape the British farming industry to support small producers, instead of subsidising landowners, according to a new report from a sustainability focused think-tank.
The report from the New Economics Foundation argues that a "new deal" for British farmers could save the taxpayer £1.1 billion, and radically alter UK food production.
The EU’s Common Agricultural Policy currently gives subsidies to farmers linked to the land they control, with wealthy landowners receiving large payouts ahead of small businesses.

Brexit is an opportunity to rebalance British farming, report claims | The Independent
We need to talk about farming | New Economics Foundation


After Brexit: What happens next for the UK's farmers?
5 January 2017 
Farming has the most to gain - and lose from Brexit
Of all UK industries, farming could lose or gain the most from Brexit.
At worst Brexit could devastate the farming sector; on average 60% of farm incomes come in the form of EU subsidies.
The report by Informa Agribusiness Intelligence estimates that without subsidies 90% of farms would collapse and land prices would crash.
So far no one has said the subsidies will be taken away, or even that they will shrink.
Indeed, the government has promised to match them up until 2020.
But beyond that it has promised nothing.

After Brexit: What happens next for the UK's farmers? - BBC News
Brexit News and Analysis - News, analysis and expert comment on the CAP, agriculture, agribusiness, farm trade and the food industry worldwide


Farmers could ‘reap a post-Brexit bonus when Britain leaves the EU’
Friday January 6th 2017 
Brexit 'could be good news for Britain's farmers' 
Farmers will reap a post-Brexit bonus as Britain is liberated from “over-bureaucratic” European Union rules on agriculture, according to a new report.
It argued that departure from the bloc will enable the government to better target financial help at the farmers who need it most.
The report from the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) said that Theresa May has a “strong hand” to deploy in Brexit negotiations because of the UK’s £16.7bn annual deficit in food and drink with the EU.
And it concluded that Britain “can take full advantage of the potential benefits of Brexit” outside the bloc.

Farmers could 'reap a post-Brexit bonus when Britain leaves the EU' - The i newspaper online iNews
Reports - Centre for Policy Studies

And from before Christmas, a similar range of opinion from think-tanks was reflected in the media:
'Hard' Brexit will give Government 'fantastic opportunity' to LOWER food prices | Politics | News | Daily Express
'Decade of disruption' ahead in wake of Brexit vote, think-tank warns (From Wales Farmer)
NEWSNIGHT: EU migrant workers 'to be replaced by ROBOTS' once Britain quits the EU | UK | News | Daily Express

For more on 'robots on the farm', see:
Futures Forum: Artificial Intelligence on the farm >>> 'Though machines with AI are surprising in their adaptability and prospects for improvement, they still lack a very human factor..... common sense'

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