Half of British farmers may go bust if there is a no deal Brexit

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#1 Posted by Horgen (121131 posts) -

Source, and another one

A deadly cocktail of immediate tariffs, border checks, increased red tape and cheaper food imports from outside the EU will result in the “decimation of UK farming”, a detailed study finds.

“Many industries will suffer, but the industry that would suffer the most serious economic shock will be agriculture,” a former chief economist of the National Farmers Union (NFU) concludes.

The warning comes as the Farmers for a People’s Vote group is unveiled, as the latest arm of the movement demanding a Final Say referendum on the Brexit outcome.

It includes Dr Sean Rickard, the NFU’s ex-chief economist, the founder of an organisation of female farmers called Ladies in Beef and the director of Farmers First, bringing together nearly 3,000 operators from across the UK.

The threat to farming from a crash-out Brexit has already been highlighted by the NFU’s warning of a mass slaughter and burning of sheep, when shut out of the EU market.

The prime minister is considering proposals to buy up excess lamb and beef – at an eye-watering annual cost of £500m – with most likely to be culled in the absence of alternatives.

Now the study warns of the hugely damaging impact of a no deal on farming, because:

* The EU, plus third countries with which it has trade agreements, would immediately slap tariffs on food exports from the UK.

* Tariff-free imports of many agricultural products would have to be offered to non-EU countries as well, including the USA, Brazil and Australia – undermining domestic farming

* It would also be hit by new non-tariff barriers, including administrative costs and border checks to ensure compliance with EU food safety and animal health regulations.

* It would face an effective trade embargo on exports of animal-based products, while the UK and the EU negotiated an agreement.

* The removal of support payments – with only a proportion likely to be covered by Whitehall – and an adverse trading environment will “render the majority of farm businesses unviable”.

Dr Rickard said: “It is impossible to project the exact number of farmers who will go out of business.

What we do know is that over 40 per cent of them will have no net income if the basic payment is removed.

“If, at the same time, the government removes all tariffs and so depresses prices, these two factors combined will render over 50 per cent of farms in this country unviable.”

And Guto Bebb, a Conservative MP supporting the People’s Vote campaign, said: “Farming is at the very heart of what makes this country great.

“To put that all at risk for the sake of pursuing a disastrous no-deal for which the public haven’t given their consent would be an outrage against democracy.”

On a recent visit to Wales, Mr Johnson failed to explain what help would be given to farmers – even when warned that crashing out of the EU could spark civil unrest.

Instead, he said only: “We have interventions that are aimed to support them and their incomes.”

But the department for the environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) disputed the analysis, saying: “The cash total for farm support will be protected until 2022, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

“We will also intervene to provide direct support to boost some sectors in the unlikely event this is required.”

On the threat of mass slaughter of animals, the spokesperson added: “We have also been clear that a widespread cull of livestock is absolutely not something that the government anticipates, nor is planning for, in the event of no deal.”

My memory might be wrong, but if I recall correctly the promises were hugely positive if the farmers opted for Brexit. The fact that a lot of the support farmers got came from EU were swept under the rug.

Wonder if the impact will be positive for them a few years from now or not. What do you think?

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#2 Posted by mrbojangles25 (44376 posts) -

@horgen said:

Source, and another one

...

My memory might be wrong, but if I recall correctly the promises were hugely positive if the farmers opted for Brexit. The fact that a lot of the support farmers got came from EU were swept under the rug.

Wonder if the impact will be positive for them a few years from now or not. What do you think?

This is exactly what happened/is happening with Trump; people voting against their own interests, because of nationalism and/or emotional voting.

IF they used their heads, they'd realize they sell their products to people, and you gain access to more people by sticking together.

The world is incredibly small these days, and isolation and trade wars and all that shit serves no purpose because people will just go to another supplier.

I mean FFS sheep exist anywhere there is grass, and often sometimes places there is not, too.

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#3 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (10950 posts) -

If these farmers voted for it, then f*ck 'em. Reap what you sow.

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#4 Posted by joebones5000 (2729 posts) -

Not worried. Boris Johnson will take care of them.

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#5 Edited by Serraph105 (34045 posts) -

People need to start doing a better job of identifying conmen and stop making them the leader of their countries. This goes for Britain and America as of late.

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#6 Posted by Horgen (121131 posts) -

@mrbojangles25 said:

This is exactly what happened/is happening with Trump; people voting against their own interests, because of nationalism and/or emotional voting.

IF they used their heads, they'd realize they sell their products to people, and you gain access to more people by sticking together.

The world is incredibly small these days, and isolation and trade wars and all that shit serves no purpose because people will just go to another supplier.

I mean FFS sheep exist anywhere there is grass, and often sometimes places there is not, too.

Hey man. Maybe they want to be poor and helped by the big dangerous government.

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#7 Edited by Master_Live (19705 posts) -

@HoolaHoopMan said:

If these farmers voted for it, then f*ck 'em. Reap what you sow.

Basically.

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#8 Edited by mrbojangles25 (44376 posts) -

@horgen said:
@mrbojangles25 said:

This is exactly what happened/is happening with Trump; people voting against their own interests, because of nationalism and/or emotional voting.

IF they used their heads, they'd realize they sell their products to people, and you gain access to more people by sticking together.

The world is incredibly small these days, and isolation and trade wars and all that shit serves no purpose because people will just go to another supplier.

I mean FFS sheep exist anywhere there is grass, and often sometimes places there is not, too.

Hey man. Maybe they want to be poor and helped by the big dangerous government.

Honestly man, that's not the craziest thing I've heard this past week. I mean of all the conspiracies I think a farmer-rancher coalition trying to suicide their farms to get a bailout makes a lot of sense in a sick way.

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#9 Posted by watercrack445 (1832 posts) -

After Brexit, Britain will become America's "moon". Britain would need all the help it can get.

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#10 Edited by Sancho_Panzer (855 posts) -

I'm no expert on the topic but I think it might be a bit more complicated than that. My impression is that the CAP (common agricultural policy) has done tremendous damage to small farms in the UK, with EU agricultural policy increasingly favouring very large, anti-competitive subsidies for non-production among the wealthiest landowners. Having an even playing field once again might not be such a bad thing for British agriculture on the whole.

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#11 Posted by micky4889 (2666 posts) -

@sancho_panzer: So UK farmers receiving zero subsidies is an "even playing field" when they have to compete with subsidised farmers else where. How does that make any sense? CAP favors larger farmers as a consequence not by design. The US has a similar problem with the majority of funding getting hoovered up by mega farms. All you can really do is keep trying to tweak and change it to make sure the little guys can get a fair share.

Scrapping agricultural subsidies outright leads to a massive increased price on store shelves, and food is not something you want your population struggling to buy.

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#12 Edited by Sancho_Panzer (855 posts) -

@micky4889: Certainly more even than we currently have. Small UK farmers already have to compete with subsidised overseas and domestic agriculture and the majority have already been regulated out of competing on the export market or have been crushed by lopsided funding. CAP has been a disaster for smaller farms, favouring (as it does by design) farms based on acreage rather than use. We've literally been funding landowners to grow nothing because a few dolts have had the daft idea that centrally administering Europe's entire agricultural policy from Brussels is going to be more economical and less prone to corruption than doing so at a local level (Yeah, that worked out just great in the Soviet bloc).

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying farming shouldn't be subsidised, but CAP is broken and the farmers who are going to be hardest hit are those who already had the funds to tick all the boxes for those super-specific EU requirements. Because it's they who receive the vast majority of available financial support, basically regardless of quality, output or real profitability.

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#13 Posted by sonicare (56836 posts) -

Yeah, im worried about Brexit and its effects.

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#14 Posted by sakaiXx (6062 posts) -

Brexit please happens. Many want to know so we can study the outcome of this episode.

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#15 Posted by Horgen (121131 posts) -

@mrbojangles25 said:

Honestly man, that's not the craziest thing I've heard this past week. I mean of all the conspiracies I think a farmer-rancher coalition trying to suicide their farms to get a bailout makes a lot of sense in a sick way.

It worries me that I can't beat those even if I tried.

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#16 Posted by Jacanuk (18874 posts) -

So another doomsday scenario from pro-EU conmen...

Good to hear and great scare campaign

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#17 Posted by Horgen (121131 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

So another doomsday scenario from pro-EU conmen...

Good to hear and great scare campaign

This is from the farmers themselves.

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#18 Posted by Jacanuk (18874 posts) -
@horgen said:
@Jacanuk said:

So another doomsday scenario from pro-EU conmen...

Good to hear and great scare campaign

This is from the farmers themselves.

Which makes it even less credible and more scare-campaign You might as well ask a wolf to watch the sheep and believe that they won´t be eaten.

Until Brexit is done and over and we have seen it in action, no one knows what will happen.

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#19 Posted by Horgen (121131 posts) -

@Jacanuk: Farmers were mostly pro Brexit. They believed they would be better off with Brexit.

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#20 Posted by Jacanuk (18874 posts) -
@horgen said:

@Jacanuk: Farmers were mostly pro Brexit. They believed they would be better off with Brexit.

Let´s be clear here, the article cites a study and then asked people who have a bone in the game, if they are still sure.

The study itself is based on hypotheticals and assumptions