The shock from both sides of the referendum coin has been palpable over the last week and a bit, with neither side knowing what the ramifications mean in the long-run. The political landscape is in turmoil, as political careers are made and lost before the process of implementing a plan can be achieved.
What happens to the UK’s agriculture industry now?
Much depends on the terms negotiated, by the government that is expected to be formed after a possible general election in November. The first job for the new Prime Minister and his or her government will be to activate Article 50, after present PM, left the process to his successor.
With no trade agreements in place or near being agreed, it is likely that the UK will have to agree to free movement of people or order to maintain favourable terms for commerce. Which in the long-run will give farming and agriculture industries the general operating climate it has now.
What is certain, is that deprived rural areas, such as Cornwall, are likely to lose the investments and budgets that were ear-marked for them over the coming decade. Cornwall receives roughly 60m per year to pay for infrastructural costs alone, along side the subsidies farms receive from the Common Agricultural Policy.
The Pound has weakened and will continue to perform poorly until the more stable climate for the country can be managed. This will lead to increases in the price of food, given that the nation is so reliant on food – producing only 60% of its own food supply – and with export opportunities down, this will lead to a double squeeze for food producers. It will also lead to pressures on food levels and prices in the event of climate related issues.
Climate and energy policies have been a huge reason why we have cleaner air, cleaner beaches and better drinking water. The other potential losses to European legislation could be a much greater loss in the long-term:
Despite the controversies that the EU creates with stories of fishing quotas more sustainable stocks and improved health in fish since the turn of the century has abated over-fishing and depleting stocks. What new powers and opportunities will be given to UK fisherman is still unclear.
Thanks to Directive 2009/28/EC renewable energies directive, there is a requirement for producing clean energy – 20% of total energy needs nationally.
Most importantly, the EU is set to impose limits on each member state’s obligation to recycle – policy would make it obligatory for states to recycle 65% of municipal waste and 75% of packaging waste by 2030.
EU directives that have benefited these shores have been taken for granted and can only be fully appreciated when we risk losing them. While many could be kept as the UK dis-entangles itself from the EU rulebook, there is a danger that more stringent environmental targets might be liberalized to benefit other industries.