Background and Reports

The Highlands and Islands Agricultural Support Group (HIASG) commissioned Andrew Moxey (Pareto Consulting) and Steven Thomson (SRUC) to consider the potential impacts of Brexit on the Highlands and Islands Region.

HIASG (comprising Argyll & Bute Council, Highland Council, Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney Council and Shetland Council plus RSPB Scotland) was originally formed in response to on-going debates during periodic reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), to help frame and present the case for appropriate regional support levels and measures.  The need for such policy thinking and advocacy has recently been reinforced by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, prompting renewed interest in identifying and highlighting particular agricultural and related policy challenges and opportunities facing the region.

The overall aim of this study was to ascertain the possible implications of Brexit for the agricultural sector (including crofting) and related land use in the Highlands & Islands, and to consider the associated impact on the environment, rural communities and economy.  More specifically, the study was designed to use available data to establish the present state of the agricultural sector and related land use across the region, project the likely social, environmental and economic impacts of different Brexit scenarios on agriculture and the Highlands & Islands region, and to make recommendations for targeted policy and support measures

The full report as well as a summary document can be found here.