Bidwells comments on referendum result

Jonathan Armitage, Head of Agri-Business at Bidwells, has commented on the referendum result.

Says Jonathan Armitage of Bidwells,

‘In the face of complex economics and a distinct lack of real facts, the battleground for the great EU debate was dominated by political rhetoric and emotional argument. In no sector was this felt greater than in Agriculture. The polls leading up to the vote appeared to show that farmers were in favour of an exit and, for a sector whose profits depend heavily on European support and controls, this came as a surprise to many.

‘Now that we know the outcome of the vote we must face the realities that the coming months will bring to the industry. Whist an expected fall in sterling may give a small lift in commodity prices and, indeed, in support payments (which are set in euros), the overriding theme will be huge uncertainty. We expect this to lead to reduced activity in the sales and letting markets and a reduced level of investment generally. There is likely to be at least two years of hard negotiation to establish the nature of our trading relationship with the remaining members of the EU during which time we continue under the existing regime. This means that support payments continue for the time being. As well as new trading relationships, the government will need to address the shape of a new British Agricultural Policy and consider how the farming industry should be shaped and supported in the future. The remain campaign have made various statements of intent regarding the continuation of support from the public purse but now is the time for the government to face the real challenge of competing interests throughout our economy for resource and support previously lead from Brussels’

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