IFA President Tim Cullinan said Taoiseach Micheál Martin must use today’s EU summit to raise the very serious implications of the UK stance on Brexit for our farming and food sector.
“This morning’s report from the London School of Economics predicts a disastrous outcome in the event of a no-deal scenario. Our food exports would drop by nearly 30%. This would present a shock to the system that would have hugely damaging consequences,” he said.
Tim Cullinan said the scale of our exports to the UK, particularly for beef and dairy, means this would have very serious repercussions in every parish in the country.
“The very survival of our core indigenous industry is at stake here. Even in the case of a free trade agreement, the outlook is bleak with a drop in exports of 11%,” he said.
The report also highlighted the importance of the full application of the NI political declaration in the event of a no deal
One of the authors points out ‘If the Border is between Northern Ireland and the Republic, there will be a large hit. If all the trade is predominantly staying on the island and the Border is on the Irish Sea, then the impact might not be as great’.
“Time is not on our side, with a key EU Council meeting scheduled for a fortnight’s time. The two-day summit starting today is an opportunity for the Taoiseach to seek support for our position.”
“While a €5bn contingency fund has been set aside at EU level, our own Government will have to come forward with support for the sector,” he said.
The IFA President said he would be engaging with his fellow farm leaders at a meeting of COPA on Friday. “While today’s report shows that we have most to lose, other countries in the EU export to the UK and we will be working with them to keep our issues to the forefront of the negotiations,” he said.