No Deal: the Door to the Decimation of UK Farming?

Dr. Sean Ricards an independent agricultural economist, formerly of the NFU warns of the potential catastrophic effects of a no-deal Brexit on agriculture in a paper commissioned by the Campaigners for a Second Referendum and published last week. He calculates that more than half of UK farms could go out of business if Britain crashes out of the EU on 31 October. Hill farms are likely to be disproportionately represented as they are very dependent on support payments and 90% of lamb exports currently go to Europe

Dr. Ricards concludes: "the agricultural sector in the UK faces significant challenges from No Deal, as tariffs and non-tariff barriers are erected to our exports at the same time as the UK Government largely removes tariffs on imports from third country farmers. British farmers will be caught between increased competition from third countries importing produce to the UK, and increased difficulty and cost when exporting to our biggest market, the EU. Free Trade Agreements to reduce those barriers will take many years to negotiate. Coupled with the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme of support payments by 2022, the driving down of farm revenues means that more than half of farms could go out of business. There will considerable knock-on effects for the UK’s food industry, resulting in a smaller food sector with a greater dependence on imports and reduced food security."

Download the paper here:


Also see the article "I’m a farmer, and no-deal Brexit would put me out of business"

by Will Case, Cumbrian farmer in the Guardian