Brexit and Trade

Cross Sectors
Brexit and Trade

Brexit and Trade Deals

IFA works to safeguard Irish agriculture in EU negotiations and to guard against any trade deal that would damage the position of Irish produce on the EU market.


Following the decision by the UK to leave the EU, IFA’s focus is on highlighting the key issues of concern and working to ensure the outcome of the UK-EU exit negotiations results in a situation where market access to the UK is maintained with the minimisation of any barriers to trade.

IFA highlighted the impact Brexit would have on Irish agriculture in advance of the UK referendum and has been to the fore in encouraging Government to be strong and ensure that the issues of importance to the Irish agri-sector are central to the exit negotiations.

Once the UK gives formal notification of its intention to leave the EU, it will still remain part of the union for a further two years.

For that period of time, we have certainty that full and open market access between Ireland and the UK remains; there will be no tariffs, no quotas, no border checks. We also have certainty that there will be no change to the EU or CAP budget.

The budget for the EU has been agreed between now and 2020, under the seven year Multi-Annual Financial Framework. Under this agreement, funding for the CAP at an EU and individual member state level has been agreed. This funding is the basis for the seven-year Rural Development Programme and, at individual farmer level, their Basic Payment entitlement.

Brexit – What Next? An IFA Presentation July 2016


IFA has highlighted that any Mercosur trade deal would be extremely damaging for Irish and European agriculture, and especially our important beef trade.

In advance of the first exchange of offers during EU-Mercosur negotiations, IFA mounted a strong campaign to have beef removed from the EU offer, including direct contact with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. As a result, beef was removed from the Mercosur offer.

IFA will continue to highlight the negative consequences of a Mercosur deal and ensure vigilance against the inclusion of sensitive products, including beef.


Negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US were formally launched by the EU Trade Council in 2013.

The aim of the negotiations is to increase trade and investment between the EU and the US through the elimination of duties and other restrictions on trade in goods. Ireland has very strong links, both economic and social, with the US. As a major exporter, market access is critical for the Irish agri-food sector, with potential opportunities arising from increased access to the US market.

IFA is working to ensure that the interests of European and Irish agriculture are not sacrificed in the TTIP negotiations in pursuit of an overall trade deal. As a fundamental principle, EU negotiators must insist on equivalence of standards. That is, all US imports must meet the same animal health, welfare, traceability and environmental standards as is required of EU producers.

An IFA Position Paper on the TTIP negotiations outlines the key issues of relevance to Irish farmers, particularly in the beef, dairy, pigmeat and poultry sectors, including market access, standards and regulatory convergence.

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