Back in June 2016, 52% of the country voted that the UK should leave the EU and our political partnership with the 28 other countries. Allowing us to float along by ourselves, shaking up political parties and leaving many wondering, ‘what happens now?’
Amongst the people questioning the vote and its effects, are UK farmers and those involved in the agricultural sector.
Until Brexit is employed fully, we won’t know how it will affect UK farming and agriculture. There are many opinions from those in power of Brexit and the farmers themselves.
With the NFU (National Farmers Union) Having backed the remain campaign, the vote to leave will be putting some farmers on edge as we move forward into what some politicians have called a ‘leap in the dark’ for UK farming.
But how will this leave vote really effect the farming industry?
UK farmers are given subsidies by the EU and this can often make up a 3rd of a farmers wage. By leaving, UK farmers have to put their trust in our government if they can make up this £2.5 billion a year funding. Many politicians have stated that without this support, several UK farmers may lose their farms, saying that without this payment they won’t be able to survive.
Right now farming has free trade with the EU and exports a significant amount of produce, reaching in the realms of 500 million consumers. This includes no tariffs and flexible border controls. The effect of the Brexit vote will really show once we lose the single market UK farmers are accustomed too.
Food, drink and animal feed is exported to the EU costing £11 million but £26.5 bn comes in from the other way. A real cost of Brexit is money and consumption. With supermarkets really taking a toll on farming, (milk prices etc…) was a move cutting out such a large portion of consumers a wise choice? Over 90% of beef and sheep meat is exported to the EU, with lamb exportation coming in at around 38%. Consumption of UK farming in the UK is high and without it, many are divided in what this means for our British farmers.