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ADAS launches Brexit policy think tank

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London, 9 March 2017 Agricultural and environmental consultancy ADAS, an RSK company, has announced the formation of a cross-disciplinary think tank to explore the impact of Brexit on the food, farming and environmental sectors. The ADAS Brexit Policy Group (ADAS BPG) will provide independent evidence, insight and analysis in relation to the issues that the UK leaving the European Union (EU) raises for the agricultural industry.
ADAS launches Brexit policy think tank

Across the industry, organisations are trying to ensure that their concerns will be taken into account during negotiations with the EU on exit terms and the development of new global trade agreements, and that they understand the likely impacts.

The ADAS BPG aims to provide an independent source of insight, knowledge and evidence about these concerns for use by both the industry and the government. It also aims to help the industry to quantify and understand the impacts of Brexit, and to minimise and manage the uncertainties created using evidence, analysis and practical applied knowledge.

The policy group will focus on the evidence and practical implications behind the headlines and opinions. It will provide an independent source of research and comment to help government organisations and businesses to prepare their options and to minimise the effects of Brexit by asking the right questions, assessing alternatives and scenarios, and prioritising actions and mitigation measures.

Brexit will become increasingly fast-paced over the coming months, so it is essential for the agricultural industry to identify the most time- and business-critical issues. For example, although trade arrangements and the availability of labour are pressing concerns on farms and in food processing, many of the current regulatory environments could be adapted more slowly.

ADAS BPG chair and ADAS director James Clarke says:

“It is becoming clear that agriculture is just one of many competing business interests in the UK. The farming industry is already fighting to ensure that its voice is heard. Some of the issues vital to the survival of farming businesses are, for others, just another consideration alongside immigration, health and the financial markets. The key issues for the agricultural industry will be getting clarity on immigration and its impact on labour and skill availability. Trade relationships and life after the Common Agricultural Policy will also have significant financial implications for the industry.
Recognising these challenges and the needs of businesses and policymakers for evidence, knowledge and insight, we saw a role for ADAS as an independent information provider to those preparing for Brexit. Sitting at the interface of policy and practical knowledge, ADAS is well placed to provide the balanced information necessary. Understanding the interactions and holistic issues based on evidence is of critical importance in what could become, all too easily, an insular or polarised debate.
The ‘hard’ Brexit agenda that is emerging from the government indicates that global issues and interactions are likely to have great significance. Equally important is starting to predict and respond to the likely timescales for change, especially for ensuring risk mitigation and the retention of business resilience. The major issues, such as immigration and trade, are priorities. Others, such as regulations affecting environmental protection and the authorisation of pesticides and veterinary medicines, although having opportunities for simplification and change, may have to wait to enable changes to be phased into strategic planning.

The ADAS BPG will look to provide:

  • robust evidence for policies
  • impact assessments through scenario planning to enable risk to be managed and resilience to be retained
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • industry intelligence, analysis and insights
  • evaluation of policy options


For more information on and comment from the ADAS BPG, see

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