Agriculture after Brexit (farming and food production)

Last updated: 6 February 2020

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This process is often known as 'Brexit'.

We're now in a transition period (also known as the implementation period) that's likely to last until the end of December 2020. This means the UK is currently still following EU rules.

In January 2021 the transition period will end and our new relationship with the EU will begin. There will be effects on some areas of life in Scotland.

This may include changes to farming and food production, and the wider rural economy.

The UK is now in the Brexit transition period. This means many of the details about what Brexit will mean are not yet known. This page gives the latest facts, but it will be updated as more details are confirmed. Please keep checking back for new information.

The Scottish Government has a five year plan to make sure farmers, crofters and land users are provided with stability, certainty and simplicity.

This plan will make sure financial support is still available for:

  • active farming
  • food production
  • environmental improvements
  • forestry
  • rural development

If you're worried about how leaving the EU might affect your business, you can get advice from a number of sources. Find out more information for businesses after Brexit.

The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institute (RSABI) is a charity that can also provide help and support for agricultural workers and their families who may be stressed or worried about their current situation. The RSABI site gives information on how you can contact them for help.

The UK Government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has posted guidance on a number of issues in the event of a 'no deal' situation, including:

It has also posted a guidance article on the farming sector in general explaining how a 'no deal' situation may affect other issues like:

  • EU funding
  • importing and exporting
  • employees
  • marketing standards
  • genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • pesticides and chemical regulations
  • trade agreements
  • tariffs
  • data protection

The Food Standards Agency has also published guidance on preparing your business for Brexit. It covers topics like health and identification marks and importing high-risk food and animal feed.

The Border Delivery Group and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have also published a series of short videos to support businesses preparing for a 'no deal' situation.

Further advice

If you need more information or guidance on farming and food production, the following contacts may be able to help:

Topic Organisation Email Telephone
General Brexit advice Farm Advisory Service 0300 323 0161
Exporting animals and animal products, importing animals Animal Health and Welfare 0131 244 9874
Importing and exporting plants and seeds SASA 0131 244 8890
Equine movements and livestock exports Animal Health and Welfare 0131 244 9874
Fresh fruit and vegetables SASA 0131 244 8890
Timber import and export, timber regulations, protection of woodlands Forestry Scotland 0300 067 6000
Environmental protection farming related enquiries Scottish Natural Heritage 01463 725 000
NVZ, silage and slurry, intensive farming, pig and poultry, environmental permits, farming rules for water Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Online email form 03000 99 66 99
Waste framework and regulation, bringing waste onto and off agricultural land, waste storage and use, waste exemptions and permits Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Online email form 03000 99 66 99
Pesticides SASA 0131 244 8890
Farming scheme and payments RPID Area office numbers
Trade agreements, tariffs and quotas Department of International Trade
Visas and immigration Home Office 020 7035 4848
Food safety Food Standards Scotland 01224 285 100
Imports, exports and customs HM Revenue and Customs Online email form 0300 200 3700 (state "customs enquiry")

The content on this site is correct as of today's date and is based on the information available at this time. Regular updates will be made as the Brexit process develops. In the event of a 'no deal', additional advice and information will be given on this site. Please continue to check back for updates.