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Brexit round-up: ’triple jeopardy’ for UK farmers

Here’s a round-up of the top brexit-related stories this week.

Committee warns of impact on UK farmers

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has warned that UK farmers face a potential ‘triple jeopardy’ when the UK leaves the EU:

  • leaving the Common Agricultural Policy (which makes up 50-60% of some farm incomes) could make some farms unviable
  • new trade relations could mean the loss of tariffs and subsidies 
  • new trade relations could lead to increased competition which could damage UK agricultural business.

Mary Creagh, chair of the EAC, said:

“UK farming faces significant risks – from a loss of subsidies and tariffs on farm exports to increased competition from countries with weaker food, animal welfare and environmental standards. The government must not trade away these key protections as we leave the EU.” 

Service sector grows

Growth in the services sector continued in December 2016, according to the Markit/CIPS quarterly survey.

The growth represents a 17 month high for the service industry with new business increasing at its fastest rate since July 2015.

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, said:

“At face value, this improvement suggests that the next move by the Bank of England is more likely to be a rate hike than a cut, but policymakers are clearly concerned about the extent to which Brexit-related uncertainty could slow growth this year.” 

Housing demand increases

Housing revenues and average selling prices rose as demand continues to increase following the EU referendum.

The housebuilder Persimmon reports that private sales in the second half of 2016 were up 15% from a year ago.

As a year whole, 15,171 home sales were completed, while revenues rose by 8% to £3.14 billion.

Ian Forrest, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said:

“While there has been a limited affect from Brexit so far the longer term risk to the UK economy created by the UK’s decision to exit the European Union remains so we continue to regard the shares as higher risk.”

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