Since the referendum took place on 23rd June, where the UK voted to leave the EU, numerous speculative discussions have occurred regarding the probable implications for the various sectors of society. Although great uncertainty remains about the future – particularly with recent events regarding the High Court ruling requiring parliamentary voting, steps are now taking place to seek guidance and advice from leading practioners and academics associated with the main areas.
As a specialist in agricultural and rural policy within the UK and EU, Janet Dwyer has been consulted on numerous occassions over recent weeks.
Earlier this month, Janet gave a seminar at the prestigious Land Economy School at the University of Cambridge. The seminar title was ‘What chances for sustainable UK agri-policies after Brexit?’ In her presentation Janet suggested that policy and market developments may cause significant structural change, particularly in sectors most heavily dependent upon Basic Payment Schemes such as sheep and beef, and a fair proportion of arable. The slides from Janet’s presentation, can be found on the CCRI SlideShare page.
More recently engagement culminated in a Brexit Conference for selected invited academics at the House of Commons, where she presented four key ideas, that policy makers should:
1. Think through and monitor the process of how, when and where impacts will occur and how best to manage them, if / as future UK agricultural support is reduced
2. Invest now in action to strengthen sector resilience and environmental sustainability, better to withstand market and environmental shocks and uncertainties in future
3. Recognise the interdependence between environmental, human and social values in land, which means we need to seek multiple goals through a common process, avoiding ‘silo’ strategies which only deal with single issues
4. Link market players and public policy goals, so government works more with partners in the whole agri-food chain to recognise common interests and responsibilities and address our needs and trends together. For example, Defra working with the big food multiples to agree how best to sustain the UK’s domestic production, if/as our trading conditions with the rest of the world change.
Regarding the conference, Janet commented that she was ‘delighted’ to participate in the event, which allowed her to bring her expertise to those who will be responsible for the administrative details once the Brexit process is triggered, and although this will be a period of great uncertainty, she wanted to use her experience over many years researching UK and EU policy to help identfy and explore some of the major issues likely to be faced over coming years.
Shortly before the conference, Janet was interviewed for BBC Farming Today, where she discussed these issues. This can be listened to on the Farming Today website until 9th December, with Janet’s piece commencing at 4minutes 10sec.