The collection’s chapters have certainly noted and made clear how the rural UK is being impacted significantly by the twin challenges of Brexit and Covid-19. Trying to collate some perspective on both is thus the subject of this chapter. One key term underpins, underlines, even undermines much of what can and will be said: ‘uncertainty’. The future is never pre-written, even seemingly permanent statues fall, and the unfolding consequences of both Brexit and Covid-19 both emphasise this strongly for the rural UK.
The chapter engages with some of the emerging consequences Brexit has for the rural UK, inspired explicitly by both insights from the present book’s chapters and other studies and evidence. It overlays this ultimately still uncertain but seemingly bleak picture with a tentative initial summary of some of the social impacts on rural areas of Covid-19. This latter tale seemingly starts more brightly than that for Brexit but soon becomes overcast again. Nonetheless, the chapter’s concluding section seeks out the positive, it is a call for the UK rural to be actively and defiantly alive today, not a withdrawn and resentful reactionary space.