Society reports set out key farming Brexit concerns

Professor Wyn Grant.
Professor Wyn Grant.
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Expert testimonies about the impact of Brexit on agriculture are to be submitted to the Government by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS).

With Prime Minister Theresa May set to trigger Article 50, the Society will submit four summary reports that identify key concerns of the farming industry and highlight policies which need to be reformed.

The YAS created a Brexit working party via its Farmer-Scientist Network to look at the effect of Brexit and to inform the farming community as the Government moves towards developing new farming polices.

Wyn Grant, professor of politics at the University of Warwick and leader of the working party, said: “New agricultural policies will require careful consideration, need to rely on sound scientific evidence and be led by the industry itself.

“Our findings were that basic payment subsidies are unlikely to survive Brexit, but there needs to be a transitional period to allow the industry to adjust. “Seasonal migrant labour is of vital importance to some sectors and a new scheme is needed to facilitate the use of temporary workers from both inside and outside the EU.

“Agri-food trade policy is very much a work in progress and at least four alternative models are available. If policy variation in the devolved territories increases after Brexit, there is the potential for the emergence of un-level playing fields and variations in the treatment of farmers across the UK.”

As Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March, Britain should officially leave the EU by April 2019.