Land Business - Spring 2016

Q1 2016

Amid mounting speculation that the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU will be held this summer, the campaigns to stay and to leave are in full swing.

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Amid mounting speculation that the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU will be held this summer, the campaigns to stay and to leave are in full swing.

There have been scare stories emanating from both sides of the debate about what the future may hold, and the very fact that a Brexit is on the agenda is causing anxiety among investors right now.

But away from the political bluster about the pros and cons of EU membership, the concern among farmers and landowners is, what would be the real impact on the rural economy if we do opt out? How would a Brexit affect land values, our ability to trade with Europe, and our agricultural subsidies? Could it trigger another push for Scottish independence, resulting in yet more political upheaval north of the border? Read our analysis of the issues on page 18. Landowners in Scotland also have much to consider this year. The SNP’s land reform legislation is taking shape, and estates need to be proactive to ensure that they can weather the storm. We look at how Leys Estate is doing just that by building good relationships with tenant farmers and the local community.