Farming News - Brexit is an "annoying aggravation" Rural Report reveals

Brexit is an "annoying aggravation" Rural Report reveals

06 Jun 2019
Frontdesk / Finance

The report by Knight Frank covers the challenges and opportunities facing rural landowners, analysis of rural land markets across Britain, and advice to help landowners add value to their properties.

Six out of ten respondents said that the farrago of Brexit had been an annoying aggravation, but had not had an economic impact.

But they also show that in general terms the furore around the botched EU withdrawal discussions has been an annoying distraction for the rural community, rather than creating widespread and significant financial impact.

Much of the blame for the inability to strike a deal seems to be laid at the door of Brussels.

This is reflected in the responses when we asked if people would vote differently if they had a second chance. While 84% haven’t changed their minds, of those that had, almost 80% said they would now vote leave instead of remain, a slightly higher proportion than when asked the same question last year.

Inevitably, agriculture will be one of the industries to be most affected by Brexit , with potentially profound changes to land use over the next 30 years.

49% of rural landowners are planning to change their business to cope with the challenges and opportunities of Brexit.

The top 5 favoured changes for rural landowners include: diversification, putting more land into conservation schemes, make existing business more efficient, plant more trees, buy or sell.

Tom Heathcote, Knight Frank’s new Head of Agri Consultancy, discusses the options for farmers and landowners looking to safeguard their businesses during the coming years and decades. Tom’s top 5 include: diversification, better use of technology, profiting from nature, trees and biomass, risk management.

Ross Murray, Chairman of Rural Asset Management, comments:

At a time of change and uncertainty it is critical for rural landowners to anticipate future public policy. Land use and agriculture in particular have relied almost absolutely on public money, regulation, and European oversight. The future in the UK will be radically different. Knight Frank’s Rural Report provides a unique guide to the issues that matter to landowners. It is full of insight, relevant statistics, and points the way towards fundamental change, and we’re here to help our clients through that.