Brexit could boost pig farm incomes, report concludes


By Alistair Driver, Pig World (UK)

October 10, 2017


Brexit will boost pig farm incomes, at least according to modelling by AHDB, which has looked at the impact of various future scenarios on the different sectors of agriculture.


Under one scenario, a move to World Trade Organisation tariffs for all trade, pig incomes are forecast to quadruple due to the impact this would have on the cost of imports. With so many variables at play, however, it would be unwise to draw any firm conclusions from the analysis.


AHDB’s latest Horizon report, ‘Brexit scenarios: an impact assessment’, explored four areas – trade, domestic farm policy, labour supply and regulation – using three scenarios to try and quantify the impact of various Brexit policy directions on UK farming.


Scenario 1 essentially represents a ‘business-as-usual’ option where policy, regulatory framework and trading relations remain as close to the status quo as possible, given that the UK will no longer be part of the Single Market.


Scenario 2 sees direct support abolished and overall support payments to UK farmers halved, with access to EU labour also halved and no change in the cost UK casual labour. The UK adopts a liberal approach to trading, with no UK-EU trade deal. WTO rules apply but the UK unilaterally abolishes import tariffs for all agricultural products, resulting in increased competition from non-EU imports.


Scenario 3 envisages greater cuts in support and a 50 cut in EU labour supply but with higher costs of UK casual labour. There is no UK-EU trade deal and the UK adopts the same WTO tariffs as the EU for imports of goods from outside the EU.


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