Now that the UK has left the EU, every UK business sector and investor will look to the Government for its strategic policy roadmap that addresses this historic event and the perceived opportunities that it presents. The Prime Minister has consistently argued that a key element of the UK’s departure is that it allows his Government to establish its own regulatory structures as a springboard to a globally competitive economy.
The now ratified Treaty entitled the “UK – EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement” provides the framework for the UK’s future trade relationship with the EU. Several commentators have characterised the Treaty as the end of the beginning of the new relationship as it requires the parties to enter into a wide variety of subsequent debates and agreements covering many important areas and details. The outcomes will be highly relevant to the UK’s relative prosperity over the longer term.
Notwithstanding the above and the ongoing challenges of the pandemic to the UK and world economies, the Government’s responsibility is to lay out its policy strategy for this new situation that facilitates the creation of an environment which encourages business investment and growth in our economy. In relation to the AGRI TECH sector the enactment of the Agriculture Act 2020 already provides the long term, post CAP framework for the farming sector as a whole. Understandably, considerable uncertainty remains in the absence of the under-pinning structures and regulations.
The AGRI TECH sector’s relative profile and importance to the UK economy and the Government (officials and politicians) has risen materially in recent times. It therefore has a clear opportunity to assist the Government’s policy task as it relates to the sector. The relevant Departments – DEFRA and BEIS being the most obvious – will both need and welcome sector inputs in order to produce the best strategy, policy and regulatory outcomes within which the sector can prosper.
Additionally, because the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the freedom to develop their own approaches in the agricultural sector, their policy developers will also be open to inputs.
The value of the sector’s opportunity is that players within it can, over time, become trusted voices and valued advisers to the Government and, in parallel, enhance their long term, competitive positions. Such players will certainly benefit from collaborating with their key stakeholders and partners, in particular academia, R&D centres and funders, such that their combined positions can be genuinely representative and of greater value.
To be successful and influential in policy and regulatory development there has to be an understanding of how to relate to and work with the key officials, whether at a national, regional or local level. A player needs to be clear about their own desired outcomes arising from creating a relationship with officials, and they must also have a good understanding of the issues, options and challenges confronting the officials. Possession of these basic facts will enable players to respond and assist officials in a constructive and positive way.
In summary, the Treaty opens a genuine opportunity for serious players within the AGRI TECH sector to create relationships with Government officials that are of long term mutual benefit. Policy makers at every level need trusted sector inputs to enable them to develop and operate sector relevant policies and structures.
TWENTYFIFTEEN understands this environment and how to work within it, and is open to conversations with fellow members of Agri-TechE at any time.
Contact Details – Richard Elsden, Director, TWENTYFIFTEEN ADVISORY LTD,
Mobile – 07748 931372
This content has been contributed by TWENTYFIFTEEN; the views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this text belong solely to the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Agri-TechE.