This chapter considers the issue of the changing nature of rural governance after Brexit at the broader level. By introducing a conceptual framework that addresses what governance, rural and sustainability actually are, and how they interact with one another, this chapter is able to cover an overview of the ways that rural governance has and might change across the United Kingdom.

In this chapter, I will outline the ways in which governance of the rural has changed by better conceptualising what these changes mean beyond the immediate. The focus will be on what they mean for how the structure and intentions of governance in the United Kingdom differ due to Brexit, or how they allow the United Kingdom to differ in the future. This will require three brief preliminary sections, first, what is meant by governance, second, what is meant by the rural, and third, what is sustainability, and how is this governed. This last section is important as it ties the rest together as sustainability is the defining concept and challenge of the 21st century. Once this has been established, I will outline rural governance in and out of the European Union, focussing on the architecture of governance, agriculture, rural policy and environmental policy.