FarmBrexit.com is a knowledge-based internet project curated by Johann Tasker, chief reporter at Farmers Weekly, the magazine and website for the UK’s agricultural industry*.
As an agricultural journalist, much of my work involves investigating and reporting the impact that leaving the European Union will have on the UK’s food and farming sector.
For the past 40+ years, UK agricultural policy has been determined by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Brussels has decided the amount of subsidies British farmers receive, the number of crops they must grow to receive those subsidies and the number of animals many farmers can keep (yes, really).
The EU has also had a big say in the agrochemicals and animal medicines that growers and livestock producers are allowed to use.
Brexit brings all that to an end – potentially, at least.
Leaving the EU means the UK government has the opportunity to devise new policies for British farmers – policies that are tailor made for the UK, rather than for a group of 28 (soon to be 27) countries.
What those policies will look like is yet to be decided. And with opportunities, of course, come threats.
While the agricultural terms and conditions of EU membership may seem onerous, British farmers have also been big beneficiaries of the CAP.
Worth some £3 billion annually to British farmers, financial support from Brussels accounts for a big proportion of UK farm incomes.
It remains to be seen whether that support will be replicated by the UK government beyond 2020, when the current CAP programme ends.
Any post-Brexit trade arrangements will also have a big impact on British farm businesses – especially on sectors such as lamb, where some 40% of UK output is shipped overseas.
Then there is the cost of funding the UK’s new agricultural policy – at a time when the NHS, schools and other important public services are competing for the same public money.
This all means there is a massive thirst for knowledge about the likely impact of Brexit on agriculture – among farmers, as well as among UK policy-makers, commentators and taxpayers.
To satisfy that thirst for knowledge, FarmBrexit.com tracks the latest developments – delivering news, views, analysis and hard facts – as the UK’s new agricultural policy emerges.
Bringing everything in a single place like this makes my job easier. I hope you find it useful too.
I also hope FarmBrexit.com stimulates debate about getting the best post-Brexit deal for UK agriculture, British farmers and consumers – and the impact that any new policies are likely to have.
Please do get in touch if you have any comments, suggestions for improvement – and especially if you would like to contribute an opinion piece – or if you simply want to “talk Farm Brexit”.
My contact details are below:
+44 (0)1206 263807
+44 (0)7967 634971
* Disclosure: FarmBrexit.com is a not-for-profit project curated by Johann Tasker. It is independent from Farmers Weekly, receives no funding and has no political affiliation.