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From the editor: As Westminster implodes, the Brexit picture gets more blurred

The country may be divided over Brexit, but there is a unifying sense of frustration over the Government’s inability to progress a deal with the EU.


Ben   Briggs

Ben   Briggs

Instead of getting on with the job, the Conservative Party is mired in infighting which has huge ramifications for the rest of us.

 

Whether Theresa May, the Cabinet and civil servants ever wanted to see Brexit through or were happy to let it flounder will be discussed in years to come.

 

The reality now, however, is the country voted to come out of Europe and our political representatives should have been ready to get on with constructing a deal. Instead, we have faced an unbelievable week in Westminster at such a crucial stage of the negotiation process.

 

What happens now is anyone’s guess, but the only thing farmers can do is get on with the day-to-day task of producing food and trying, as best they can, to plan for the future of their business at such a tumultuous time.

 

Our State of British Agriculture survey, which drew a huge response, shows that many are already seeking to make their businesses Brexit ready.


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Whether this is through major change or tweaks to small elements will depend on the farm business, but there is no doubt many have used it as an opportunity to assess where they are headed.

 

The wider themes within the survey should also be a pointer to those in charge of the country that now is a time for answers, not political indecision which has the ability to bring the country to a standstill.

 

The fact farmers’ confidence drops hugely after March 29 next year shows that effective business planning becomes much harder when we have no inkling of what our future relationship with Europe will look like.

 

The added caveat that many farmers see rural crime as a bigger threat than Brexit also highlights why policymakers need to focus on the here and now and not their own careers.

 

Agricultural businesses will continue to evolve and innovate, but whether the Government pulls its collective head out of the sand is not as certain.

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