Page 9 - BREXIT 2
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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers 2 Where have we reached on post-Brexit policies?
The The path to to Brexit turned out to to be a a a a a a a a political marathon taking longer than most expected The The Appendix contains a a a a a a a summary timeline of the the the main steps in in in in in the the the tortuous political path which culminated in in in in in the the the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act (23/01/2020) This paved the the the way for UK exiting the the the political institutions of the the the EU a a a a a a week later at at 11pm on 31/01/2020 No one can reasonably argue that there was was poor information about what was was at at at at stake during the the referendum campaign The process of Brexit spawned a a a a a a a a massive literature This included independent analysis from the academic world as well analysis from stakeholder organisations explaining what Brexit could mean for all sectors of the the economy and and and society including food and and and agriculture For example the the Agriculture and and and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) produced a a a a a a a a a a great deal of of farmer-facing analysis of of the the exit options and their potential effects Anyone who wanted to to to see what the the ‘experts’ thought Brexit could mean for their sector had plenty to to to read However this material was not not an easy read Most lay people do not not know much about customs unions single
market rules free trade agreements and the the the WTO Even an an an explanation of of the the the outlines of of these structures is not very helpful for businesses because because the the the details matter as as much as as the the the broad principles Furthermore because because the the fundamental choice between relatively soft Brexit – meaning remaining within the the EU Customs Union and Single Market and and harder Brexit involving departing both ran right up to the the closing weeks of the the three-and-a-
half-year process This meant that all analyses had to consider the implications under multiple scenarios: in-or-out
of the various EU structures and with-or-without trade agreements with with with major trading partners Such reports are never easy to digest The results are inevitably projections based on on on numerous assumptions presented for many
scenarios It can certainly be claimed that voters did not know in in in June 2016 which version of leaving the the EU they
were voting on on on but material was available to explore the implications of of each version It is said that a a a a a a a a a a a a majority of of 2 farmers voted leave None can reasonably complain that the implications had not been spelled out including in in in in WCF Brexit 1!
Analysts of of of the the agricultural implications of of of Brexit were agreed that these would depend broadly on on four sets of of of factors: the the the the replacement British agricultural and environmental policies the the the the economic relationship with the the the the EU the the the the trading relationships with other countries and and any changes in in in in in the the regulatory regime for food and and farming including the the labour market The rest of this chapter summarises what is is is known about these considerations 2 1
English agricultural and environmental policy These will be shaped by the the provisions of the the respective Bills proceeding through Parliament during 2020 The Agriculture Bill This was initially introduced into Parliament on on on 12/09/18 but only reached the the report stage in in in in the the Commons before the the chaotic 2017-19 Parliament ended following a a a a a a a a change of Conservative leadership and the the second post- referendum general election The Agriculture Bill was reintroduced with some changes in in January 2020 It is an an an enabling Bill to allow public expenditures for agricultural and other purposes 2 The evidential basis for this is is is is not not very clear beyond an an oft-quoted Farmers’ Weekly survey however the main farmers’ organisations do not not contradict this claim 7 

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