Confor issues 'Impact of Brexit' paper

14 July 2016

Confor has issued a detailed paper on the implications of Brexit for its members - less than three weeks after the vote to leave the EU was confirmed. 

The document, written by Martin Glynn FICFor, examines the key issues which are likely to impact most on the sector as the UK negotiates its exit from the European Union. 

They are grouped under three main headings:

  • Legislative and regulatory affairs, including: Environmental Impact Assessments; Birds and Habitats Directive; plant health and quality; employment and health and safety law.
  • Public funding, including: European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development; European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund; EU Programmes; state aid.
  • Trade & markets, including: goods; labour; timber; renewable energy; land.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: "This report builds on Guy Watt's pre-referendum report and lays down clearly where our members are likely to face impacts from the Brexit decision - and what those potential impacts might be. There is a lot we don't know, but this is an important piece of work which lays down a framework assessment and provides the basis for Confor to promote the sector’s interests at a time of great change.

"The next step is to develop more detail in each of the areas identified by Martin, and Confor will be working with member experts to do this. We will also work with bodies with similar interests where we have common ground, to speak with a louder, united voice."

Mr Goodall said he would also be writing to the new minister responsible for forestry to stress that it was crucial for the Government to honour existing funding commitments and to provide early assurance about financial support for the sector after the UK exits from the EU. 

"This point came through very strongly at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry on Tuesday this week," he added. "Businesses need reassurance that funding support will be available in future, especially if we are to ensure that we carry on planting. We cannot allow paralysis to set in - the wheels of business must be allowed to continue turning at the same time as we work hard to shape a new future in the best interests of the forestry and timber sector."