The vast majority of farmers worried about Brexit - Thorne Widgery

A recent survey has found that a whopping 84 per cent of farmers are worried about the impact Brexit will have on their business, from fears around rises in input costs to significant worries about the impact of a no-deal Brexit on sheep meat exports.

The survey was carried out by Cop-Cogeca, which is the umbrella organisation that represents European farmers’ associations, including the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

According to Copa-Cogeca, uncertainty is weighing heavily on the business decisions made by farmers in the UK, and they are particularly concerned about issues surrounding exports to the European Union.

The survey also found that Brexit is affecting farm investment, with more than 20 per cent of farmers planning to put less money into their business and only nine per cent planning an increase. It also found that sheep farmers are particularly worried about the damage that a no-deal Brexit could inflict on lamb prices.

Their fears are echoed by the UK Livestock Group and the Livestock Auctioneers Association who believe that the sheep sector is particularly vulnerable because British lamb sales are highly dependent on the French export market.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the UK Livestock Group, which represents organisations from across the livestock sector, said that the UK is inadequately prepared to avoid serious trade disruption and this is “extremely concerning”.

His words chimed with a spokesman for the National Sheep Association, who said it is “very sobering” to discover how much still needs to be done in the two months until 29 March. He added that for new trade to continue, new processes and systems need to be put in place and “it is difficult to see that they are going to be ready in time”.

Mike Bagg, Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “The survey shows that the majority of farmers are worried about how Brexit will affect their business with fears around the increase in costs and effect on sheep meat exports in particular.

“If you are worried about the impact Brexit could have and would like to discuss your options further, then contact one of our experts here at Milsted Langdon today.”