IFA President Joe Healy said the tariff regime in the event of a no deal Brexit would be a disastrous scenario for Irish farmers.
After last night’s defeat in Westminster, the IFA President said the prospect of a no deal has moved closer. “Our most exposed sectors, particularly beef, simply will not survive the kind of tariffs being talked about. This would have a devastating effect in the rural economy,” he said.
“We export over 50% of our beef to the UK. If this is subject to tariffs, it will be a ‘direct hit’ of almost €800m on the sector,” he said.
If the UK decide to have zero tariffs on food imports this would also be hugely problematic as it is likely, under WTO rules that zero tariffs would be applied to all countries. This could expose Irish food to competition from low cost, low standard imports from non-EU countries.
A tariff rate quota regime would see a similar situation where Ireland would have to compete against low cost imports for our part of that quota.
“Overall any ‘no deal’ UK regime will be very damaging for Irish farmers.”
The IFA President said that the EU Commission and the Government will have to honour the political commitments they have given to provide a comprehensive package in the event of a no deal Brexit.