IFA insists farming and food must now be centre stage in Brexit talks


IFA President Joe Healy says farming and food will have to be centre stage in the Irish Government’s position as the formal negotiations on Brexit begin.

He says the implications are very serious for what is our largest indigenous industry, given the significance of the UK market for our food exports.

Joe Healy says the triggering of Article 50 today must concentrate the minds of everybody to deliver a deal that prioritises the core economic issues.

The IFA President has met the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to set out the key priorities for farming and food in the IFA policy paper Brexit: The Imperatives for Irish Farmers & the Agri-Food Sector.

The IFA will hold a major Brexit event on Monday, 24th April, ahead of the crucial EU Summit on Saturday, 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 over 600 farmers.

IFA Chief Economist Rowena Dwyer says the threat of Brexit is the most significant challenge facing the farming and food sector in the history of the State, with 40% of food exports going to the UK.

He said farmers expect our Government to launch a major diplomatic offensive at EU level that places our issues at the heart of the negotiations.

The IFA’s team dealing with Brexit led by the President Joe Healy will be undertaking high level contacts with the Oireachtas, government departments, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament in the coming weeks.

IFA will also be engaging with the wider agri-food sector and with farming organisations across Europe.