IFA Chief Economist Rowena Dwyer has outlined the acute impact Brexit could have on Irish and European agriculture to a meeting of European farming organisations and co-operatives.
Rowena Dwyer told the meeting of COPA/COGECA representatives that a negative outcome to Brexit would seriously damage European trade, and she sought the support of the European farming organisations for IFA’s position that, if the UK exits the Single Market and Customs Union, there must be a Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the EU and UK, which would include the following specific elements for agriculture and food:
- Tariff-free trade for agricultural products and food;
- Maintenance of equivalent standards on food safety, animal health, welfare and the environment; and
- Application of the Common External Tariff for imports to both the EU and UK.
The IFA position received a positive response from the European farming organisations today, and will be further discussed at the COPA Praesidium at the end of this month, which will be attended by IFA President Joe Healy.
Speaking at today’s meeting, Rowena Dwyer said, “The implications of Brexit are very serious for agriculture and we must ensure a strong negotiating stance by European political leaders to achieve the best outcome for farming.
“We must maintain the closest possible trading relationship between the UK and EU, while preserving the value of the UK market; and a strong CAP budget following the UK’s departure, which is critical for farm incomes, farm output and economic activity in rural Ireland.”
Major IFA Brexit Event
The President of COPA Martin Merrild will be among the speakers at a major IFA Brexit event on April 24th, ahead of the crucial EU Summit on Sat, 29th April, at which EU leaders will set out their negotiating position.
EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, IFA representatives and industry leaders will speak at the event in Goffs, Co Kildare which will be attended by more than 600 farmers.