There is a sense in the agricultural sector that Brexit preparation isn’t particularly advanced, not because we don’t understand it will have a big impact, but because of (a) the lack of certainty around the outcome, and (b) the understandable reality that nobody wants to pre-emptively make drastic changes to their business that may, in the end, be unnecessary.
Unfortunately this lack of certainty about the ‘overall’ outcome looks set to continue – regardless the outcome of the trade negotiations which are still, at the time of writing, ‘progressing’. Even if, as many expect, a last minute deal is reached, this will be a bare-bones agreement, with much still to play for after 1st January 2021. The uncertainty about what will happen could span years into the future as we enter a near-permanent state of something critical or life-changing being just-about-to-happen.
Does this mean there’s no point ‘preparing for brexit’? No, if anything the near-certainty that whatever happens there will be a significant impact on the agriculture sector means that all farmers should start taking steps now to understand what the impacts are likely to be on their business, and what this might mean in the future. The only thing certain is that you’re far more likely to wish you’d started planning early, than wish you’d ignored it for a while longer!
We may not know exactly what the future looks like, but we do know enough at this stage to be able to forecast based on 2 or 3 possible options. Whatever the solution is for your business, it is likely that you will have major decisions to make and the earlier you can start thinking about and ‘living with’ these various possibilities, the easier it will be to make a good decision when the time comes.
Funding is available through the ILMP for either a full review of the business (up to £3,200 of funding is available towards the cost), or for a shorter business resilience plan (for which £1,000 of funding is available). Contact the FAS helpline for details or follow the link.
Sign up to the FAS newsletter
Receive updates on news, events and publications from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service