Brexit: agriculture and environment

6 July 2017

Over the last forty years, the European Union’s (EU) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has profoundly shaped the UK’s countryside, farming sector and food system – for better or worse. While the CAP supports farmers’ incomes across the UK (on average to the tune of 50-60%) and provides mid-term certainty, it has frequently been criticised for its complexity, its impact on the price of food and its negative environmental effects.

In the on-going Brexit discussions, agriculture and fisheries stand apart. Whatever kind of Brexit is negotiated, responsibility for agriculture and fisheries will return to the UK.

This policy brief provides an impartial expert review of a number of existing proposals and is informed by a stakeholder workshop with practitioners from the farming and NGO sectors. It sets out the challenges and opportunities of Brexit for agriculture, highlighting short-term priorities for the ongoing negotiations and longer-term policy goals for farming and rural areas.

Download Brexit Agri-Environment report

The views expressed in this research paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative.

View all research papers

Sign up to our newsletter

In submitting your personal data via this form, you consent to being contacted via the details provided so that your enquiry can be responded to. A backup of your data will be held but only authorised individuals will be able to access your data. If you would like your data to be removed, please email

View our latest newsletter