Article 50 was triggered on 29 March 2017 and the UK will officially leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Beyond that, all we really know about Brexit is that it’s a little word with big consequences and a lot of uncertainty.
At the moment, it is estimated that there are around 12,000 EU regulations in force in the UK. The government believes that it will probably require over 1,000 new statutory instruments to facilitate our exit. The Withdrawal Bill is intended to ‘ensure that the UK exits the EU with certainty, continuity and control’.
The government hopes for a transition period to help businesses and others ease into the new post-Brexit era. The length of this transition period is set to be under two years, ending on 31 December 2020.
Whatever is ultimately agreed, one thing is certain: businesses will have new sets of rules to accommodate, and considerable change to adapt to. VAT and customs duties are expected to change, since they are based on EU law.
Changes for farming and land management clients
Farming and land management are areas where the government has already started to give some indication of what a post-Brexit future might look like. The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has reiterated that funding for farming will be protected ‘in cash terms – for the whole of this Parliament – until 2022′. However, as NFU Scotland point out, ‘change is inevitable’ and this year’s modifications to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) in England may suggest the way ahead.
CSS provides financial incentives for farmers and land managers in England to look after the environment through a variety of schemes, from woodland creation to conserving wildlife habitats. The scheme has been simplified to make it easier to apply for and the deadline for online applications to Natural England has been extended to 31 August 2018. You may need a pre-application pack to help with your online application.
Analogous schemes are also open for other parts of the UK. In Northern Ireland, farming clients could consider the Environmental Farming Scheme (Wider level), for application later this year. In Wales, Glastir is a sustainable land management scheme offering financial support to farmers and land managers. Its Small Grants (Water) is expected to open to applications in July 2018. In Scotland, the Scottish Rural Development Programme runs a range of schemes, such as the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS).
RfM has many years experience advising farming, agricultural and rural businesses and can support you with all aspects of farm accounts and taxation – especially as we look to the future and post-Brexit funding.
Planning for future success
In the face of such change and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to have a clear and current understanding of your business position. Accurate, up-to-date management information, robust budgets and forecasts will be key to minimising risk and maximising opportunities. A survey by the Institute of Directors indicated that 30% of larger businesses have already scoped out contingency plans, with around 60% of SMEs intending to do the same.
For now, the best advice to take is to keep calm and plan for the future.
Our team of business consultants can support you, to define and realise your plans for growth, and to access grants and funding that are currently available. Call Tony Backhouse on 07969 900864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information of users: This material is published for the information of clients. It provides only an overview of the regulations in force at the date of publication, and no action should be taken without consulting the detailed legislation or seeking professional advice. Therefore no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.