The EU referendum was an intensely fought debate and now that the decision is made, attention turns to what the future will hold. Unfortunately, the simple answer is that no one really knows. It is unclear what form Brexit will take and in turn, the exact impact on the rural economy is unknown.
We won’t officially leave the EU until two years after the UK government serves the Article 50 notice. This means that the legislative status quo will remain for some time, even if commodity prices, exchange rates and the economy as a whole changes.
The potential impact of Brexit on the agricultural industry will be wide ranging and at this stage there are many questions that need answers. Will we have tariff free access to the Single Market? Will our fruit and veg growers still get access to migrant labour? What subsidy regime will replace BPS? When will the government serve the notice to leave? Indeed, uncertainty is going to be something we will have to get used to until the post-Brexit world takes shape.
Basic Payment Scheme – One clear immediate positive of the Brexit vote is that BPS payments should go up this year as the pound has weakened significantly against the Euro. If rates hold as they are at the time of writing, payments are likely to be around 15% higher than last year.