Leaving the EU means leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Brexit provides an exciting opportunity to rethink current policy on agriculture and make it more efficient and sustainable.
Moving away from the CAP will have its challenges, however. Agriculture is a devolved issue, yet it is the UK administration that will negotiate Brexit and future trade deals. This will have a significant impact on devolved agricultural and environmental policies. The mismatch of priorities and objectives between nations might lead to political conflict. Moreover, the current financial support provided by CAP is critical for some farmers, particularly in the devolved nations.
Meeting EU process and product standards will be a requirement for UK farmers to access the EU market. If the Brexit negotiations end with a ‘no deal’ outcome, however, the UK will have to work under WTO rules. This may open up UK agricultural markets to new competition, drive some farms out of business and pressure the government to weaken environmental and animal welfare standards.