Saturday, 23 March 2019

Brexit: and the impact on rural life

Rural parts of the UK have been looking to how to manage Brexit.

In Northumberland, Cumbria and the Borders: 
Rural areas need a joined up approach to avoid the worst of Brexit | University of Cumbria

In Devon: 

Torridge joins call for rural strategy ahead of Brexit

Sarah Howells
March 7, 2019

Torridge District Council has joined a national call for the Government to produce an urgent strategy for rural areas in preparation for Brexit. The call is the result of concern that challenges to the sustainability of rural communities and service delivery in rural areas have been inadequately addressed by those in power for too long.

Council leader Jane Whittaker urged other councils to join in and said: “The call for action is a timely reminder that rural communities have been neglected and underfunded for many years. Digital infrastructure remains weak and the cost of providing services or doing business in a rural environment has not been properly or fully addressed.

“Our predicted departure from the EU and the potential loss of subsidies are likely to have an impact on significant sectors of our local economy, such as farming, without any reassurances that there are plans in place to mitigate this.”

Rural Services Network chief executive, Graham Biggs said: “Rural Communities are frequently overlooked in a policy environment dominated by urban thinking and policy concerns. This often means communities either miss out on the benefits or experience unintended consequences from policies which are poorly thought-through from a rural perspective.

“It is time for this ‘rural mainstreaming’ to stop. People living in ours towns and villages simply cannot afford to wait any longer for politicians to take their concerns seriously and act on them.”

The full Rural Services Network report can be accessed here.

Torridge joins call for rural strategy | Barnstaple, Bideford and Ilfracombe News - North Devon Gazette | North Devon Gazette

And in Scotland: 

Brexit could lead to ’21st century clearances’, claims charity

The potential impact of Brexit on rural Scotland has been described as the ‘21st Century Clearances’ in a new report published by Scottish Rural Action. The report summarises findings from a series of community conversations held across rural Scotland.

Amanda Burgauer, the charity’s chairwoman, said: ‘This report is about giving voice to a rural point of view that is rooted in Scotland’s people and places, rather than its rural industries. Three major themes emerged.

‘Of most concern was the fear of long-term depopulation, exacerbated by the economic impact of the end of freedom of movement. There was an expectation of a hollowing out of rural Scotland through loss of EU funding, and there was worry about social cohesion with Brexit intensifying a sense of ongoing powerlessness in rural communities.

‘There is widespread anger and frustration across rural Scotland, but that anger isn’t solely about Brexit. It was clear from workshop discussions that Brexit is compounding long-standing concerns about rural equity and fragility.

‘Brexit was described as the “straw that breaks rural Scotland’s back”, with people pointing to structural fragilities across rural communities. Participants generally believed that an historic over-reliance on EU funding to “prop-up” rural areas makes rural Scotland particularly exposed to future loss of EU support.’

Brexit could lead to '21st century clearances', claims charity | The Oban Times

Or, if you prefer the fruitier version: 

Official Scottish report into Brexit declares: ‘We are f***ed’

The strong language was blamed on a 'design and layout' error

Alex Nelson
Tuesday March 19th 2019

An official report on the impact of Brexit on rural Scotland has included the quote, “We are f***ed”.

Published by Scottish Rural Action (SRA), the document – which was launched at an event in Elgin on Monday – features a side banner with the statement on its fourth page. It is not until the following page that the comment’s context is explained.

The banners in the document showcase the responses of workshop participants asked to imagine the newspaper headlines they expect to see following the UK’s departure from the EU. SRA chairwoman Amanda Burgauer said the “icebreaker” exercise saw several of the participants use “earthy language” to describe their feelings on Brexit.

Official Brexit rural impact report includes phrase: 'we are f*****' | London Evening Standard

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