The IFA and the Ulster Farmers Union met this week to discuss the implications for farmers of the recent UK Brexit outcome.
The organisations agreed to work together to protect the important relationship between farmers on both parts of the island. Both organisations agreed that the agricultural sector must not be at a disadvantage as a result of the Brexit outcome.
Speaking following the meeting in Armagh, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said the maintenance of the strong trading relationship between both sides of the border is of critical economic importance. The IFA and the UFU have agreed to work closely together during the forthcoming period of negotiations at home and in Brussels.
“Many farmers have farms on both sides of the border and their concerns in relation to trade and farm schemes must be taken into account during the negotiations,” he said.
The IFA Deputy President said that both organisations are clear that there cannot be an additional burden of red tape resulting from the changed circumstances arising from the UK exit from the EU. The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland must remain open to trade and the free movement of people.
Other issues discussed at the meeting were the implementation of CAP, the ANC review, farm investment grants, environmental schemes and hill farming supports.
The IFA delegation included Deputy President Richard Kennedy, Rural Development Chairman Joe Brady; Hill Chairman Pat Dunne; Rural Development Vice Chairman, Pat Gilhooly; and, Rural Development Executive, Gerry Gunning.
The Ulster Farmers Union was represented by Deputy President Victor Chestnutt; Hill Farming Chairman, Ian Buchanan; Hill Farming Vice Chairman, John Kennedy; Environmental and Rural Development Policy Officer, Aileen Lawson; and Beef and Hill Farming Policy Officer, Elliott Bell.