The Irish Farmers Association is hosting a Brexit Event – Implications for Border Counties Post Brexit – in the Glencarn Hotel in Castleblayney Co Monaghan this evening starting at 8pm.
The purpose of this event is to discuss the current state of play of the Brexit negotiations and the implications for farming and the agri-food industry, especially in the border counties.
Agri-industry leaders in the region will attend, including a representative from Customs and Revenue who will speak on the challenges that face businesses. The Ulster Farmers Union will also participate.
Among the speakers at tonight’s event are Joe Healy, IFA President; Eugene Kiernan, Breffni Mushrooms; Gabriel D’arcy, LacPatrick Chief Executive; and, Ivor Ferguson, UFU Deputy President.
Ahead of tonight’s meeting, IFA President Joe Healy warned that rapid progress in the withdrawal agreement negotiations is needed to avoid a disastrous no-deal scenario and UK cheap food policy.
Joe Healy said, “While the transition period agreed gives some certainty, that will only apply if agreement is reached on all other matters by October and approved within the next 12 months. Otherwise, we reach a cliff edge drop into the unknown that would be disastrous for all sides.”
In the discussions on the future relationship between the EU and the UK, the key area of trade is vital for Irish farmers, Joe Healy said.
Nigel Renaghan, IFA Ulster/North Leinster Regional Chairman said it is clear that Irish and UK farmers are absolutely united in the desire to avoid a hard border and in their view that it would be devastating for farmers and very bad for consumers if the UK was to cut its standards and aim for a cheap food policy.
He said that as well as maintaining the closest possible tariff-free trading relationship for agri-food with the UK, it is important that an agreement is reached that maintains the value of the UK market for Irish farmers. “Any outcome that allows the UK to set their own standards and cut tariffs on food imports from third countries would seriously devalue the British market for Irish agri-food exports and in turn destabilise the European food market.
“We need to avoid a scenario where the British market is open to cheaper, inferior food products such as Brazilian beef, hormoned US beef or chlorinated chicken that displace or undermine our high quality Irish food exports produced to the highest EU standards.”