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Preparing for Brexit

  • October 2015
  • -
  • Agra Europe
  • -
  • 72 pages

The United Kingdom, and the EU, each face the prospect of momentous change following the EU membership referendum which is to be held in the UK in 2016 or 2017 This report analyses the implications of a possible UK withdrawal from the EU (‘Brexit’) for both the UK and European agri-food industries, and in particular the income shock which would result from the probable scaling-down of farm subsidies in Britain An assessment is made of the kind of agriculture policy a non-aligned UK might adopt post-Brexit, and how trade relationships might evolve as the UK unpicked itself from the EU’s institutional fabric The report also reviews the impact of UK departure from the EU on the Union’s internal agricultural policy dynamics, and on its budget financing

Table Of Contents

Preparing for Brexit
Contents
Disclaimer 4
Executive Summary 5
Chapter One 9
11 Britain's uneasy relationship with Europe 10
12 Attitudes to EU membership among UK voters 11
13 The UK regions and Brexit 13
131 Scotland 14
132 Wales 16
14 The renegotiation 16
15 Effect of withdrawal on the food industry 17
151 Process of withdrawal 17
152 Practical implications for the food industry 18
Chapter Two 20
21 Article 50 TEU 21
22 The EU-UK withdrawal agreement 23
23 The withdrawal process in the UK 24
Chapter Three 25
31 The UK and the EU budget 25
32 The political balance of power in the EU post-Brexit 28
33 How would Brexit affect other pro-reform countries? 30
Chapter Four 32
41 UK trade in agri-food products 32
411 Trade benefits of UK membership of the EU 33
42 Implications of Brexit for the UK agri-food industry 34
43 Alternative post-Brexit relationships assessed 35
431 European Economic Area (EEA) agreement with the EU (as for EFTA members Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein) 35
432 Membership of EFTA 38
433 Other possible alternatives: 39
44 UK food and agricultural trade arrangements post-Brexit 40
45 How Brexit would affect agri-food trade in other EU member states 42
46 The impact on UK-based multinational food companies 43
47 The impact on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UK 44
48 Implications for TTIP and other bilateral trade agreements 45
Chapter Five 47
51 UK agriculture policy before Europe 47
511 Accession to the CAP 49
52 Likely UK agriculture and rural environment policy post-EU 50
521 UK farm incomes' subsidy dependency 51
522 A new approach to subsidies 53
53 A new policy for UK agriculture? 55
531 Budget savings 56
532 Policy options: Less-Favoured Areas / Areas with Natural Constraints 57
533 Policy options: ‘Greening' 58
54 Current Pillar 2 policies in UK 59
541 In England 59
542 In Scotland 60
543 In Wales 61
544 In Northern Ireland 62
55 Impact of subsidy removal on main farming types in England 62
551 Specialist cereal farms 62
552 General cropping farms 63
553 Mixed farms 64
554 Dairy farms 65
555 Lowland grazing farms 66
556 LFA grazing farms 67
Chapter Six 69
Conclusion 69

Figures and Tables
Figure 11: UK views on EU membership as at June 2015 13
Figure 12: Per capita EU budgetary spending in UK regions, 2013 14
Figure 31: The UK's rising contribution to the EU budget 26
Figure 32: Projected UK contribution to EU budget, 2014-2020 26
Figure 33: Estimated additional annual budget contributions payable by other EU member states post-Brexit (€ billion) 28
Figure 41: UK trade in principal food commodities (2013) 33
Figure 51: UK agricultural support expenditure (EEC and national 1973 to 1981) 48
Figure 52: UK self-sufficiency in food products, 1991-2014 49
Figure 53: UK Average Net Farm Income Sources, by farm type 2012-13 52
Figure 54: Average UK farm income sources 54
Figure 55: UK average net farm income trends, 2007-08 to 2013-14 55
Figure 56: Impact of Direct Payment (DP) abolition on average cereal farm incomes 63
Figure 57: Impact of Direct Payment (DP) abolition on average general crop farm incomes 64
Figure 58: Impact of Direct Payment (DP) abolition on mixed farm incomes 65
Figure 59: Impact of Direct Payment (DP) abolition on average dairy farm incomes 66
Figure 510: Impact of Direct Payment (DP) abolition on lowland grazing farm incomes 67
Figure 511: Impact of Direct Payment (DP) abolition on LFA grazing farm incomes 68
Table 31: EU-funded agriculture and rural sector support in the UK, 2008-2014, in £ million 27
Table 32: Council voting weights in the EU (in %) 29
Table 41: EU ad varorem import duties for agriculture and food products, by product group, 2013 43

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