Post-Brexit Policies for a Resilient Arable Farming Sector in England

Mauro Vigani*, Julie Urquhart, Jasmine Elizabeth Black, Robert Berry, Janet Dwyer, David Christian Rose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union and increasing pressures from climate change, English arable farming resilience is in a fragile position. Most Brexit impact assessments have focused on quantitative analysis, however here we take a qualitative approach to assess how future trade agreements could impact the resilience of the UK arable farming system. We discuss the main strategies that are currently taken by English arable farmers to improve resilience using evidence from a large-scale survey in the East of England. Using information from a multi-stakeholder workshop, we look at arable farming resilience in three forms characteristic of the farming system; namely, robustness, adaptability and transformability and how these relate to and are potentially influenced by three different Brexit trade scenarios. Stakeholders’ recommendations suggest that a ‘hard’ no-deal scenario will require policies for social protection of farmers in more vulnerable rural areas, while in a ‘softer’ scenario a ‘public money for public goods’ policy could be implemented effectively by learning from previous environmental schemes. Nevertheless, resilience can be enhanced only by addressing structural and policy issues, such as generational renewal, advice and extension, tenancy duration limits and smarter PPP regulations, regardless of what post-Brexit deal with the EU finally emerges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


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