Join Farmers Guardian Editor Ben Briggs, and Head of News and Business Olivia Midgley, for weekly thought-provoking and lighthearted debate around the key issues affecting farming, food and the countryside right now.
In 2005, a UK travel company branded the third Monday in January ‘Blue Monday’ – the day of the year we are most likely to be depressed, with the festivities of Christmas a distant memory, high debt levels and our New Year’s resolutions out the window.
To use a spot of football jargon, the Brexit negotiations benefited from their very own version of ’Fergie-time’, that fabled bit of extra-extra time that would seemingly appear at the end of Manchester United games when the Red Devils were managed by Sir Alex Ferguson. The games would go on longer than expected but the desired result, for Sir Alex at least, was achieved in the end.
Picture the scene. It is the end of 2021 and there has been a no-deal Brexit, while Basic Payments have also started to reduce in line with Government plans to move towards a more environmentally-based farming support structure.
Increased production and commercial innovation prevented flour shortages during the first lockdown – so there’s no need to panic this time, says National Association of British and Irish Millers (nabim) director Alex Waugh.
Ensuring we get right the support network for British agriculture at such a crucial point in its history is going to be key, which is why the contribution from the Labour Party about extending the remit of Groceries Code Adjudicator must be welcomed as a forward-thinking proviso.