No-deal could be ‘good news’

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - FARMING - BY NANCY NI­COL­SON

A no-deal Brexit could prove to be good news for many Scot­tish farm­ers, ac­cord­ing to a lead­ing ru­ral ad­viser.

Con­trary to wide­spread warn­ings of the dev­as­tat­ing dam­age that could be in­flicted on agri­cul­ture by a nodeal Brexit, SAC con­sul­tant Ju­lian Bell said the weak­en­ing of ster­ling be­cause of Brexit uncer­tainty had added £20 a tonne to grain prices – a boost that could be wiped out at a stroke if a deal is reached and the pound bounces back.

“The pre­dic­tion comes with 101 caveats but, short-term, many sec­tors could do re­ally well and for quite a few farm­ers – ce­re­als grow­ers in par­tic­u­lar – a no-deal Brexit could be good,” he said.

He said the sheep sec­tor would suf­fer, but ways were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated to mit­i­gate this.

He said: “The is­sue with sheep is tim­ing be­cause we pro­duce the right amount of sheep meat but not all at the right time of year, which means we have to im­port fresh New Zealand lamb, but al­ready there are ini­tia­tives to have later and more con­sis­tent lamb avail­able.”

He ad­vised farm­ers to im­prove their re­silience by mov­ing loans from short to long-term, de­lay­ing in­vest­ments, and di­ver­si­fy­ing in­come.

“For quite a few farm­ers a no-deal Brexit could be good”

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