Each dawn, sheep farmer Thomas Carrick works the land through freezing winter rain and snow, 2,000 feet up in the bleak Cumbrian fells.
Like many British farmers, he is about to find out if life outside the EU is even colder and darker.
Well used to weather dependent good and bad years, sheep farming is facing a possible man-made disaster when dawn breaks on the New Year in post-Brexit Britain.
More than a third of British sheep meat is exported, and 96% of it goes to the EU, according to industry figures.
With a no-deal Brexit on January 1, British lamb would face tariffs of 48%, making it prohibitively expensive to customers in Europe.
The value of the Carrick family's 2,000 Swaledale and Leicester sheep would be expected to drop by a third, along with the family's income at High Crossgill Farm up on Alston Moor.
Pictures of the week: December 13 - 19
Pictures of the week: December 13 - 19
Hamleys Elf greets people at the toy store in Ragent Street.
Non-essential shops are still allowed to stay open in Tier 3 areas. Many retailers will still be open for all Christmas shopping needs. (Photo by Pietro Recchia / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Lewis O'Connell, six, and his brother Oscar, three, from Leighton Buzzard at the official opening of the UK's first playground from McDonald's, made from Happy Meal toys at Ronald McDonald House Charities UK (RMHC UK) in Oxford.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Performers take part in Puss in Boot, the UK's first doorstep 'Hail-A-Panto', hosted by ride hailing app - FREE NOW, London.
The sun rises over the groyne in South Shields, on the North East coast of England, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)
An anti-Brexit demonstrator wears a face mask as she holds a placard in Parliament Square, in London, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday she saw clear progress in the trade talks with the UK, turning a post-Brexit deal from a fleeting possibility into an ever more realistic possibility. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A van drives through flood water in Sutton in Cambridgeshire, as the Met Office have warned the next couple of months are likely to be wetter than normal in the UK, raising the prospect of flooding on top of the ongoing battle to contain coronavirus.
General view of Annabel's Mayfair with Christmas decorations. (Photo by Pietro Recchia / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
People pass Christmas lights outside the closed Churchill Arms pub in Kensington, west London, after the capital moved into the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions as a result of soaring case rates. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman wears a face mask as she carries shopping bags in Soho, in London, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. London and some of its surrounding areas will be placed under Britain's highest level of coronavirus restrictions beginning at 00:01 local time on today as infections rise rapidly in the capital. Under Tier 3 restrictions, the toughest level in England's three-tier system, people can't socialize indoors, and bars, pubs and restaurants must close except for takeout.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
The statue of Britain's World War II Prime Minister Winston Churchill stands in the rain backdropped by a Christmas tree, the scaffolded Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, in London, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. The consensus across the four nations of the U.K. over the planned easing of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas appears to be fraying — even though they all agreed Wednesday to keep in place the laws around the relaxation. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A shopper wears a facemask as she walks past an Evening Standard newspaper stand at Victoria Station in central London on December 16, 2020, as new guidance on Christmas during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic was announced by the government. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted calls to tighten coronavirus restrictions over Christmas, as London faced stricter measures and concern mounted about case numbers. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman walks past a Christmas decorations display outside a wine shop in Mayfair, London, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. London and some of its surrounding areas have been placed under Britain's highest level of coronavirus restrictions beginning at 00:01 local time on Wednesday as infections rise rapidly in the capital. Under Tier 3 restrictions, the toughest level in England's three-tier system, people can't socialize indoors, and bars, pubs and restaurants must close except for takeout. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Manchester City's Ellen White reacts after a missed chance during the Women's UEFA Champions League match at the Academy Stadium, Manchester. (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)
St Paul's Cathedral Choristers prepare for their first live streamed Christmas concert at St Paul's Cathedral in London, Monday Dec. 14, 2020. The concert 'A Celebration of Christmas' will be held on Thursday December 17. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
A man watches a meteor during the Geminid meteor shower over Brimham Rocks, a collection of balancing rock formations in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North Yorkshire. Picture date: Tuesday December 15, 2020. The Geminid meteor shower is active between 4th and 17th of December and is regarded as one of the most reliable of the year with as many as 70 meteors an hour. Brimham Rocks rocks began forming roughly 320 million years ago, when water, grit, and sand washed down from Scotland and Norway. However, standing nearly 30 feet tall the bizarre formations that can be seen today were created as the millstone grit was eroded during the last glacial period. See PA story SCIENCE Geminid. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Activists protesting against coronavirus lockdown restrictions and any mandated covid-19 vaccinations demonstrate in Parliament Square in London, England, on December 14, 2020. London is to be moved to 'Tier 3' restrictions, indicating a 'very high' coronavirus alert level, from this Wednesday, requiring pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to close other than to offer takeaway and delivery service. The city was returned to Tier 2, or 'high' alert, restrictions at the end of the four-week England-wide lockdown on December 2, albeit with some strengthening provisions having been added in the interim. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Larry the cat in Downing Street, London. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Anti-Brexit activist Steve Bray watches as an activist protesting against coronavirus lockdown restrictions and any mandated covid-19 vaccinations is arrested by police officers in Parliament Square in London, England, on December 14, 2020. London is to be moved to 'Tier 3' restrictions, indicating a 'very high' coronavirus alert level, from this Wednesday, requiring pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants to close other than to offer takeaway and delivery service. The city was returned to Tier 2, or 'high' alert, restrictions at the end of the four-week England-wide lockdown on December 2, albeit with some strengthening provisions having been added in the interim. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A selection of free fish for sale at fishmonger in London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A woman takes part in an anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protest near Parliament Square, London, Monday Dec. 14, 2020. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)
A person looks at a painting during the opening of Tate Liverpool's exhibition of Liverpool NHS worker portraits, Monday Dec. 14, 2020. The new commission by New York based artist Aliza Nisenbaum features portraits and two large scale group portraits painted of key workers from NHS Merseyside who worked for their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)
Police officers wear face masks as they patrol an anti-lockdown demonstration in Parliament Square, in London, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Britain launched its vaccination program this month after becoming the first country to give emergency approval to the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, and authorities plan to dispense 800,000 doses in the first phase. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A couple wearing face masks as precaution against the spread of covid19 seen at Burlington Arcade, Mayfair.
London is set to move to �high alert level� on Wednesday 16th December. (Photo by Pietro Recchia / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A view of a Covid-19 vaccination card after a patient received the first dose of the Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at the Hurley Clinic, in London, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. The National Health Service said hundreds of general medical clinics across England are taking delivery of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine on Monday, and some will start offering the shots by the afternoon. (Aaron Chown/Pool Photo via AP)
A member of staff holds a vial of the the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as they pose for a photograph at the Abercorn House Care Home in Hamilton, western Scotland, on December 14, 2020, where staff and residents are receiving their first doses of the vaccination. - Britain has received some 800,000 doses of the vaccine in the first batch of an order of 40 million. Up to four million doses are expected by the end of December. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 21 days apart. The over-80s and health and social care staff are first in line to get the jab in the national rollout. (Photo by RUSSELL CHEYNE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by RUSSELL CHEYNE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The door of 10 Downing Street, in London, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
LONDON, Dec. 13, 2020 -- A woman wearing a face mask walks along Westminster Bridge in central London, Britain, on Dec. 13, 2020. Britons who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus will have to self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14, Britain's chief medical officers announced Friday.
The new measure, coming into effect from Monday, also applies to those required to quarantine after returning from countries which are not on Britain's travel corridor list. (Photo by Han Yan/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Han Yan via Getty Images)
Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta watches the play during an English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates stadium in London, England, Sunday Dec. 13, 2020. (Laurence Griffiths/Pool via AP)
Resident Annie Innes, 90, talks with a healthcare worker after receiving a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Abercorn House Care Home in Hamilton, western Scotland, on December 14, 2020. - Britain has received some 800,000 doses of the vaccine in the first batch of an order of 40 million. Up to four million doses are expected by the end of December. The vaccine is administered in two doses, 21 days apart. The over-80s and health and social care staff are first in line to get the jab in the national rollout. (Photo by RUSSELL CHEYNE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by RUSSELL CHEYNE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry Skelton on board Softkore after the Read Davy Russell's Exclusive Blog starsportsbet.co.uk Standard Open NH Flat Race at Southwell Racecourse.
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Mr Carrick, 37, a father-of-four, said: "If we have a bad Brexit, and we see some really draconian tariffs imposed on us, from what we would say is a man-made situation, we would find that fairly intolerable and fairly unacceptable moving forwards.
"That sort of tariff, it's not a small tariff, it's a very high tariff.
"And if that is stuck on our products overnight, it doesn't take a genius to understand it's going to have some serious consequences for a lot of people.
"We wouldn't see as much investment in farms like this, you wouldn't see investment into family businesses that really underpin the whole supply chains, whether it's animal health, mechanics, machinery dealerships, everything depends upon industries like sheep farming in these parts of the world.
"And undeniably it would have massive knock-on effects for all those industries if we saw a recession in sheep farming due to just badly negotiated trade deals."
Trading on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms in new markets would not quickly make up for the export market loss from Europe, with British lamb competing in a market where animals are not raised to the same health standards, Mr Carrick said.
The EU subsidy to farmers is being withdrawn and replaced but the details of the new domestic agricultural policy are still "quite thin" he added.
Farmers will need all their resilience but despite problems on the horizon the industry should be optimistic, Mr Carrick says. Prices have been consistent and businesses profitable.
Hill sheep are farmed naturally out on the fells, in a way that is the opposite to the industrialised mass production of much of the food industry.
Meanwhile British lamb, at home and abroad, is in demand, with premium product especially relished by French chefs.
The future could be bright if a deal is agreed. The prosperity of whole rural communities now depends on the stroke of a pen from trade deal negotiators in Brussels.
"It is hugely dependent on what happens over the next couple of weeks, with regards to Brexit," Mr Carrick said, who is chairman of the National Sheep Association's northern region and voted Remain in the EU referendum.
"I watch the news every day. I watch it very closely.
"These things go down to the wire and they try to call each other's bluff.
"I think the whole Brexit business has been probably more drawn-out and complex than most people anticipated, but we are where we are.
"Hopefully over the next few days we will see something positive. But if we are hanging on, with really impossible rules imposed on us, it's going to be very difficult.
"Now isn't the time to start sacrificing some industries just because of some hard-headed negotiating tactics.
"Sheep farming isn't there to be put to the sword just because they haven't managed to get what they want.
UK and EU negotiators will continue talks over a post-Brexit trade deal in Brussels on Tuesday.