Farm delegation meets Taoiseach on Brexit ahead of crucial EU summit

IFA and representatives from the agri-food industry met the Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday to put forward the key issues for the sector arising from Brexit ahead of a crucial EU summit on Saturday.

Representatives from Food Drink Ireland, Meat Industry Ireland and the Irish Dairy Industry Association joined IFA President Joe Healy in making the case for the measures needed by the sector.

Mr Healy said Brexit has the potential to have a devastating impact on farming and food.

He added the message to the Taoiseach was clear: the sector’s issues have to be at the forefront of what is agreed by the EU leaders this weekend.

Philip Carroll, Chairman of Meat Industry Ireland, said the food industry delegation highlighted the critical importance of business certainty during the negotiation.

He also outlined the need for the Government to act immediately on a series of short term measures to ensure that Irish food exports maintain their market share in the UK while negotiations are ongoing.

The delegation identified the key priorities for the sector in relation to the EU negotiating mandate for the Brexit negotiations. These included discussions on the future EU-UK trading relationship and maintaining access to the UK Market

In addition, delegation members pointed out that disruption to the highly integrated trade flows between Ireland and Northern Ireland must be minimised.

The delegation also put forward a number of short and medium term measures to support the agri-food sector.