The Implications of Brexit for Agriculture, Rural Areas and Land Use in Wales

This report highlights the challenges and opportunities for agriculture and rural areas in Wales that could result from Brexit.

The report’s author, Professor Janet Dwyer, argues that the most likely changes in trading conditions will leave Welsh agriculture in a disadvantaged position compared to its main trading competitors. How key food and forestry processors and retailers respond will be crucial.

Sheep and beef farmers could be in a particularly disadvantaged position after Brexit. A decline in the economic viability of sheep production is likely. Dairy, horticultural, mixed and other farm types may be best placed to benefit from changes after Brexit.

We can expect reduced levels of UK public funding for agriculture once we leave the European Union, and following a likely 3-year transition period; i.e. after 2022. North and West Wales are likely to face stronger negative impacts than South and East Wales.

There may be environmental consequences of Brexit. Supporting farmers to manage land or to move it into other sectors will be important, as well as ensuring adequate funding for natural resource management in Wales.