Reacting to today’s report by the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture on the impact of Brexit on farming, IFA President Joe Healy said the two key issues for the agriculture sector are the closest possible trading relationship between the UK and EU, and the provision of a strong CAP budget following the UK departure.
He said, “The Government must use the strong relationship it has with both EU and UK leaders to influence a constructive approach to these difficult negotiations. The retention of free trade in agriculture and food products between the EU and UK, and maintaining the value of the market, must be the Irish priorities”.
Joe Healy said IFA is very concerned that Prime Minister May has indicated that the UK will seek to leave the EU Single Market. However, her clear statement that she will pursue an ambitious free trade deal with the EU must be built upon.
In Brussels, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, must make the retention of free trade in agriculture and food products between the EU and UK a priority.
Regarding the CAP, the IFA President said there can be no reduction in the CAP budget as a result of Brexit. Any budget shortfall arising from Brexit must be made up by the remaining Member States, so that farmers are not hit with CAP cuts when the UK leaves.