UK businesses, including farmers and growers, are bracing themselves for a no-deal Brexit. With the UK due to leave the EU by a fast-approaching 31st October 2019 deadline, there are still steps you can take to prepare your farm for a no-deal exit.
How could a no-deal Brexit affect the farming community?
The UK farming industry could see £850m of lost profits each year if Britain leaves the EU without a deal. The figures come from research undertaken by farm business consultants Andersons, commissioned by the BBC.
They describe a bleak landscape for agriculture, with some farms struggling to survive unless the government significantly increases support. Worryingly, the report’s author describes a no-deal Brexit as being a greater threat to farmer’s profits than the foot-and-mouth crisis.
How does Brexit affect EU rural funding grants?
The good news is that EU funding will still continue for UK farmers, regardless of a Brexit deal/no-deal context. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will continue to administer the schemes, though some of the processes may change. Accessibility and eligibility might also be affected.
Can my farming business still trade with the EU after a no-deal Brexit?
British farms will still be able to import and export goods and produce with the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit. What will change is the process for doing this, and there’s also the threat of new tariffs being imposed.
Importing and exporting for British farmers after a no-deal Brexit
How to go about the import or export of farming goods, produce and materials very much ‘depends’. The process is dependent on what is being moved, such as animals or products of animal origin, and the direction. In short;
- What are you moving?
- Are you sending it out, or bringing it in?
The government has published advice on GOV.UK which is designed to help British farmers prepare for a no-deal Brexit. Requirements are dictated by circumstances, so different guidance is available for specific types of farming.
EORI number for a no-deal Brexit
EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, you’ll need an EORI number which starts with GB. This will allow you to move items in and out of the UK. To trade with a country which is in the EU, you’ll also need an EU EORI from that country.
Other considerations for farmers in a no-deal Brexit
Beyond the impact of trade agreements, a no-deal Brexit might also affect the people you can employ, food and drink labelling, and even the use of pesticides and chemicals.
Find more information about what Brexit might mean for British farming: