Retail Intelligence

Who is Best to Handle Brexit? Coveney V Varadkar

By Donna Ahern
Who is Best to Handle Brexit? Coveney V Varadkar

Irish people are deeply concerned about the affects of Brexit, according to recent research on the Claire Byrne Show on RTE last night (15 May).

The recent steep decline of Irish food exports to Britain is alarming.

From a business perspective, from an Irish grocery trade perspective, and for anyone involved in food manufacturing, a hard Brexit would be a disaster.

For retailers in the border areas, who are readers of Checkout, a badly negotiated Brexit could be extremely damaging to their business. It is vital, therefore, that whoever wins the leadership contest for Fine Gael is the best qualified to head up the Irish negotiation team.

A forensic examination regarding qualifications for both candidates, clearly indicates that Coveney is by far and away, the best choice, with a BSc in Agriculture and Land Management from Royal Agricultural College, Gloucestershire, a career as an Agricultural adviser and farm manager, three years as an MEP working the committee rooms, and a respected Minister for Agriculture arguably makes him more qualified than the Dublin West Doctor with a good bedside manner.


As a Minister for Health, many argue that Varadkar has consistently failed to meet his self-proclaimed targets for cutting hospital waiting lists and failed to meet departmental budgets.

As Minister for Social Justice, he has been accused of running into difficulties implementing the maternity benefit scheme. And of course, he has no proper business experience. The Brexit deal is above all else a trade negotiation.

The leadership contest was best summed up by a major figure in the Irish grocery business speaking to Checkout who said, “Theresa May would devour Varadkar for breakfast, but she would find the Corkman harder to digest”.

Opinion Piece © 2017 - Checkout Magazine

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