Thursday, October 12, 2017

Farmers incomes could halve after Brexit

The AHDB has produced a report looking at alternative scenarios for Brexit and the impact on farmers: Brexit Scenarios

Agricultural incomes could halve after Brexit unless the UK strikes a free-trade agreement with the EU, according to a new report that urges farmers to prepare for Britain’s departure from the bloc by boosting their productivity.The average UK farm is predicted to have its income fall from a current level of £38,000 per year to £15,000 should the UK unilaterally open its borders to low-cost food producers.

The AHDB also found that in a second scenario of the UK erecting protectionist trade barriers, farm incomes would fall to £20,000. However, if the UK succeeded in its objective of securing a free-trade deal with the EU, the AHDB said the average farm income could rise slightly to £41,000, because an increase in trading expenses would push up costs of imports and therefore the prices that farmers can charge for their products.

Which scenario is most likely remains to be seen, although the odds of a hard Brexit appear to have increased. However, judging from an interview in the latest Farmers Weekly with a farmer who voted 'Leave', many remain optimistic. His 'Remain' colleague, a tenant farmer, feared he may have to leave farming and was already taking a Law degree.

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