At the moment, it is estimated that there are around 12,000 EU regulations in force in the UK, and the
government believes that it will probably require over 1,000 new statutory instruments to facilitate our exit. The Withdrawal Bill is intended to ‘ensure that the UK exits the EU with certainty, continuity and control.’
The government hopes for a transition period to help businesses and others ease into the new post-Brexit era. The length of the transition period is set to be under two years, ending on 31 December 2020.
But whatever the agreements ultimately hammered out, one thing is certain. Businesses will have new sets of rules to accommodate, and considerable change to adapt to. VAT and customs duties are front runners for change, since they are based on EU law.
Farming and land management are areas where the government has already started to give some indication of what a post-Brexit future might look like. The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has reiterated that funding for farming will be protected ‘in cash terms – for the whole of this Parliament – until 2022.’ However, as NFU Scotland point out, ‘change is inevitable’ and this year’s modifications to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme (CSS) in England may suggest the way ahead.
CSS provides financial incentives for farmers and land managers in England to look after the environment through a variety of schemes, from woodland creation to conserving wildlife habitats. The scheme has been simplified to make it easier to apply for, and is currently open for applications. 2018 paper application packs are available from Natural England until 31 May. Applications can also be made online, but here you may need a pre-application pack to help. The deadline for all applications is 31 July 2018.
We are always happy to advise on any aspect of farm accounts and taxation, especially as clients look to the future and post-Brexit funding. Please contact us for advice.
Amid the change and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to stay in the driving seat of your business. Accurate, up to date management information, robust budgets and forecasts will be key tools for any business wanting to minimise risk and maximise opportunity. A survey by the Institute of Directors suggests that 30% of larger businesses have already drawn up contingency plans, and that around 60% of SMEs intend to do so. Making plans to negotiate the run-up to Brexit and beyond can play a critical part in ensuring future success.
For now, the message is to keep calm – and plan for the future.