/ Countryside changes

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Andy Johnson 15 Aug 2019

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/15/half-of-uk-farms-could-fail-after-no-deal-brexit-report-warns

"According to a new report commissioned by the supporters of second poll, more than half of UK farms could go out of business if Britain crashes out of the EU on 31 October."

If its that bad, and I've no reason to suspect if won't be, and given that livestock farming and agriculture is still the main non-leisure use of the countryside, what changes do you think we'll be seeing? Particularly given that farming in hill/mountain areas is already particularly precarious?

Ex-farming land being just abandoned? Re-wilded? Used for tourism (off-roading, zip wires, etc.) Taken into public ownership (where are the funds?) Expansion of very large-scale agriculture?

And what about the effect on rural communities? Crag access issues?

Any thoughts?

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Andy Hardy 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Johnson:

Pinch of salt time - the survey was comissioned by the peoples vote so will paint the blackest possible picture. That said, I think people will realise the extent to which we are reliant on food imports and therefore the collapse of agriculture will expose a real weakness in our security to the general public.

Unfortunately while we're led by those wedded to unfettered free market economics that weakness will not be addressed.

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pasbury 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Johnson:

Agree with previous poster about pinches of salt. I think one thing to be sure of if we go no-deal plus US trade deal/rescue of our sinking ship, is that we'll get more industrialised livestock rearing, with lower standards of animal welfare.

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Tony Jones 15 Aug 2019
In reply to pasbury:

>  I think one thing to be sure of if we go no-deal plus US trade deal/rescue of our sinking ship, is that we'll get more industrialised livestock rearing, with lower standards of animal welfare.

And if we do that then it's  going to make it rather more  difficult to broker a trade deal in the future with our current largest export market for agricultural products. The American  market won't  be a replacement for British lamb exports that head across the channel at the moment. The future isn't looking too rosy for British upland farms.

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ScottTalbot 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Johnson:

as soon as i see a report that states we "could" anything, I stop reading. It's like Marketing campaigns which state "up to 100%... It's meaningless!

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jkarran 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Johnson:

> "According to a new report commissioned by the supporters of second poll, more than half of UK farms could go out of business if Britain crashes out of the EU on 31 October." If its that bad, and I've no reason to suspect if won't be, and given that livestock farming and agriculture is still the main non-leisure use of the countryside, what changes do you think we'll be seeing? Particularly given that farming in hill/mountain areas is already particularly precarious?

Three possibilities I can see:

* The taxpayer subsidises under-performing businesses to a far greater degree than we already do until the brexit debacle has played out, perhaps 2-20 years, trending toward a total economic wipeout.

* With the pound crashed foreign agri-business snaps up productive British land and stock in a fire-sale knowing they have the wealth/income diversity to sit out the coming hard times and the political influence to set the agenda in coming years whether we end up facing east or west.

* Large and medium scale farms fail largely at random, are mostly subdivided into smallholdings and co-ops, sustainability prioritised ahead profit. Changing social priorities open up new business opportunities.

A cynic would suggest we'll start with no.1 because it maintains the countryside as the pretty green living museum we mostly consider it. As no.1 becomes unsustainable we'll embrace no.2, consequences be damned. No.3 is utopian, an impossibility without the kind of anti 'investment' policies to maintain affordability which will be anathema to any government lumbered with this mess.

jk

Post edited at 13:38
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Andy Johnson 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Pinch of salt time - the survey was comissioned by the peoples vote so will paint the blackest possible picture.

You've read it? I confess I haven't because I wasn't able to find a freely-accessible copy.

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Andy Hardy 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Johnson:

"According to a new report commissioned by the supporters of second poll, ..."

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wercat 15 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Hardy:

1) Adopt US Standards so we get loads of imports.

2) Farms in Airstrip One collapse as they are competing with different standards/ input climatic conditions.

3) Farms in Airstrip One are acquired by US Companies and "rescued" by adopting US production standards using the latest automated and industrial farming known in the US

Post edited at 16:46
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wintertree 15 Aug 2019
In reply to jkarran:

I would add the firesale of farmyards to property developers and of land to conglomerated mega-farms.  More slow farm vehicle traffic, more good miles, more ruthless efficiency and worse biodiversity.

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