For sheep farmers this would have a devastating impact with the potential of tariffs of up to 50% being imposed on sheep meat exported to the EU, with an ensuing collapse in prices.
Store lambs purchased in the autumn for finishing and sale in the new year will be particularly affected, as around 25% of Scottish lamb is exported, most of this to the EU.
The Scottish government has intimated that there may be support coming to the sheep sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit. We believe this may be offered to sheep farmers in the early part of 2021.
A similar temporary support package was rolled out following bad weather in 2010, using data stored on the Scottish government’s database. However, some farmers missed out on that top-up because their records and sheep stock declarations were inaccurate.
Any Brexit mitigation scheme is likely to use the details of current stock to allocate subsidy.
To ensure farmers meet the requirements of any potential funding package, they must return to the Scottish Government accurately the annual sheep inventory for 2021, which will be issued soon, requesting details of flocks.
The subsidy may be allocated on a ewe headage or lamb number basis, but in either case it will probably rely on data recorded in the 1 December inventory.
Farmers must have their movement and tagging records up to date (and sheep must be tagged correctly) to ensure successful access to these grants, should they arrive.
For further advice contact Stewart Johnston on 07717 788683 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org