How Much has Brexit Affected Agriculture in Britain? A view of the farms which line the banks of the River Taw. Photo Credit: Pauline Eccles | Geograph
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ritain’s exit from the European Union may be old news, but the aftermath of the situation certainly keeps piling on. As was predicted earlier that this move could be the falling of a once strong union, it comes as no surprise that the so called benefits that the British were hoping to acquire have definitely taken a backseat and instead, are faced with multiple back draws in various areas of production, economy and technology. Britain is still struggling to increase the value of its pound and have a better economic structure.

One such setback that Britain has, is in the area of dealing of meat, poultry and other forms of farming. The UK’s input into farming is barely less than 1%, but that does not mean that the farmers, the farming equipment and the prices of the goods imported won’t be affected by Brexit. Britain imports twice the amount of products from the EU as compared to the products it exports all across the fellow European Union countries. A huge disposition will take place as they were highly dependent on importing a high variety of goods from their fellow EU members.

There is a certain tariff quota allotted to the produce that is imported to the countries in EU. There are a total of 86 products that are subject to quotas in EU which is why the process could be overwhelmingly complex. However, since Britain is not in that community anymore, it will have to request the union to fix its tariff for the imports that Britain will have from other countries.

Not only will Britain risk an imminent increment of prices in the products that it is importing, but also, it is risking losing the number of farmers working for it. A vast number of laborers who work in British farms are there due to the connection between Britain and the EU, once the country has permanently left that group, the services being provided by these farmers would not be available for the country anymore. Due to farmers leaving in abundance, there would be a shortage of field workers in the country. This could conclude to less hands on the fields and less produce getting harvested. The lower quantity of the final product going to the market will create a shortage of food and increase the prices of these items.

Another problem that plagues the farmers of this country is that, the farmers have a dependency on the EU for money distribution. This circulation of finances was rather unjustified as the people got money on the basis of how much land they owned, not the amount of produce they were offering.

About £43 Billion is being taken from the money of the European taxpayers and is given to the rich owners of farms without proper justification on their earning. Such things have gone on to profit not just the local elite of the country but people from abroad have also delved into it and made this business turn into a highly profitable investment. One such example is Khalid Abdullah al Saud who is the owner of the Newmarket farm. He is a billionaire from Saudi Arabia and earns £400,000 yearly from his farm in Britain, while his farmers are barely left with enough to live an average life. This is because that England has not put forth any laws in place for the protection of its hardworking farmers and in their place owners of farmland are be able to earn hundreds of thousands of pounds. On the other hand, social security is only capped on for the poor of the country.

On the other hand, President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, has put forward the notion that they will have a flourishing trade with Britain in order to make Brexit a great success. In an interview he gave to a German newspaper, Bild, he said “We’re going to work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides.”

Although Mr. Trump has expressed that he wants to do things quickly, there are multiple hurdles stopping a U.S and Britain coalition for trading of food goods from happening. Prime reason for this not being a possibility in the near future is the fact that negotiations between countries take years to map out and cannot be done within months. There are regulations that are supposed to be set in place between countries, to make the trade secure and profitable. Furthermore, the British have been following import and export laws laid by EU and are not in the position to have any concrete plans laid out at the moment. This can further complicate the situation and have Britain take more time than usual to map out the trading between the two countries.

If the said deal is carried out smoothly, problems still might not end here for the British. Britain could also be exposed to multiple forms of inorganic products as many crops, meat, poultry and dairy are genetically modified to produce larger quantities of food. The use of pesticides and hormones is the norm in USA and is linked to many long term diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, allergies and depression. Even with the USA sending its produce to Britain, chances are they are still not enough to cover the amount of imports that Britain was having pre-Brexit and would still be prone to a shortage in food supply.

There may be benefits of the decision to leave the European Union that might help us later on in the future. However the current situation is leaving Britain in a big pile of mess. There is no escaping the fact that Britain is facing one of the biggest challenges in modern history and the country is highly unprepared for the task at the moment. It is expected for the people and not just from the government bodies to be supportive of each other and work together to reclaim their position as an independent, powerful country. Rising food prices may be difficult for people on the economy so people should expect this blow after Britain’s exit is finalized and it finally leaves EU.

Sherley Alaba is an eagle-eyed wordsmith; a writer and translator, always interested in ways which can help individuals (especially youth and women) reach their full creative potential. Her focus has been on writing, producing and editing stories on business, finance, interesting personalities, entrepreneurs, culture, the environment, gastronomy, lifestyle, and social issues.

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