Brexit: New Opportunities

The referendum decision to leave the European Union will result in greater changes to the rural economy than any decision taken in the past 40 years. 

Throughout the referendum campaign the CLA set out the decisions that ministers must make to secure the immediate future of the rural economy in the result of a vote to leave the EU.

We are now committed to working with Government on behalf of our members to ensure the security of the rural economy. We are confident in the ability of farmers and rural businesses to create new opportunities in the future outside the EU but there must be a framework in place that allows them to do this. 

The CLA, along with Scottish Land & Estates, has published a series of briefings outlining these new opportunities for the rural economy in post-Brexit Britain. These focus on direct support, trade, regulation, labour and devolution.

Direct Support

The first in the series outlines the six principles for building a more competitive and sustainable rural economy through a world-leading Food, Farming and Environmental policy. This briefing explains why a UK policy is necessary and highlights the scale and scope of what is required.

Click here or on the icon below to read the first briefing in the series.



The second briefing outlines the need for a trade policy that creates markets for farmers at home and abroad. As the ministerial portfolios for the Department for International Trade have been confirmed, it has become clear that no minister has the sole responsibility for agriculture. In this briefing, we make the case for a trade policy that will allow UK farmers and rural businesses to compete on an international platform.

Click here or on the icon below to read the second briefing in the series.



The third brieing in the series calls on Government to overhaul specific EU regulations that work poorly for UK rural businesses, consumers and the countryside in time for Brexit. These regulations include the Three Crop Rule for farmers, plant protection product licensing and the one-size-fits-all approach to Energy Performance Certificates.

Click here or on the icon below to read the third briefing in the series.


Labour Market

The rural economy will be particularly affected by changes to policies on employing migrant workers from the EU post-Brexit and that uncertainty may affect investments and job creation in the rural sector. The fourth briefing in the New Opprotunities series calls on Government to allay concerns by confirming the status of EU migrants already resident in the UK and committing to establishing sector specific schemes for seasonal and skilled workers.

Click here or on the icon below to read the fourth briefing in the series.



Brexit does not roll back devolution, but there will be a new dynamic in the relationship between Westminster and the Senedd and Holyrood. In this briefing we argue that politicians in Cardiff and Edinburgh must commit to helping rural businesses in Wales and Scotland prosper from the new arrangements while ensuring that the distinct needs and opportunities for farming and the rural economy in the devolved nations are not forgotten in the development of a UK-specific policy to succeed the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Click here or on the icon below to read the New Opportunities briefing regarding devolved nations.

Leave or Remain

Click here or on the icon below to read the CLA's Leave or Remain report which set out the decisions that politicians must make to support the rural economy ahead of the EU referendum.



See below for news, updates and media releases on the Brexit decision and the CLA's New Opportunities briefing series. 



CLA: unique opportunity to come together to design world-leading policy for our food, farming and the environment

Government and farmers together have a unique opportunity to establish a new, world-leading UK Food, Farming and Environmental policy and create better outcomes than the EU Common Agricultural Policy for our agriculture sector, the rural economy and the environment.