Welcome to the Winter edition of our Agricultural Law Briefing
Once again water seems to be dominating the start of 2016: the north of the UK is struggling to clear up after the latest flooding and holding its breath every time the next Atlantic storm heads our way; whilst we simultaneously digest Government plans for significant reform of water abstraction licensing, designed to increase our reliance to cope with the next drought. Much as most would rather not think about either, we have no choice if farm businesses are going to cope with increasingly frequent “extreme” weather events.
Water has always been a significant practical issue for farm businesses, but as we look forward into the 2020s we can expect an even greater impact on farm transactions, business reorganisations and even farming structures as parties ensure that the right people have enough (but not too much) water in the right place.
Meanwhile just to keep us on our toes, the EU referendum is looming larger than ever, with DEFRA admitting an absence of any Plan B safety net for the agriculture industry, if an out vote becomes a reality. Apart from pigs and poultry, few will remember the days before EU subsidies and the prospect of competing in a global market against subsidised EU producers takes uncertainty and risk to new levels.
We hope you enjoy this edition of Field Talk. As ever, please do contact us for a no-obligation discussion if you need further advice.