Europe

No cheering yet in Ireland for Brexit deal

Brexit

Irish farmers are worried that the UK trade deals will flood the British market with cheap food.

Posted on Dec 30 ,11:49

No cheering yet in Ireland for Brexit deal

IFA President Tim Cullinan said the deal reached between the EU and the UK is a relief, but that it will pose significant difficulties for the Irish agri-food sector. “The work of the two sides to avoid a ‘no-deal’ has to be acknowledged, particularly after four years of damaging uncertainty which had an impact on farm incomes. However, the eventual outcome leaves little reason to celebrate,” he said.
He also urged the government to prepare a €400m support fund at the beginning of 2021 and to make available the money from the €5bn EU Brexit adjustment fund. Tim Cullinan also said the longer-term implication for our food exports could be the flooding of the UK market by cheap imports. “Farmers here on the island of Ireland and in the UK are steadfast in their view of standards. The danger is that the deal isn’t robust enough to ensure the regulations of the Single Market are adhered to,” he said.

The UK agenda in the following months is to offer access to food imported from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and the Mercosur countries of South America in exchange for trade deals with those countries. If that happens, then the value of the UK market for Irish food exports will be cut and Irish farmers will suffer huge income losses, with knock-on effects on EU markets, warned Mr Cullinan.

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