The Irish Farmers’ Association has described the appeal by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to the Agri-Food sector to make sure it is ready for Brexit, as “bizarre”.
IFA President Joe Healy said that the decision by the Minister to make the appeal “does not inspire farmers’ confidence at a time when we are facing a potential wipe-out”.
“It’s akin to the captain of a ship going to sea without any lifeboats for the passengers,” he said.
Healy highlighted that neither the Minister, Taoiseach, Tánaiste nor any member of the cabinet, have been able to provide any concrete details as to how farmers’ livelihoods will be safeguarded in the event of a crash-out Brexit.
“The Minister is saying nothing about his plans to protect Irish farmers, who are in the front line and the most exposed in Europe.”
Healy stressed that with 90 days to go until a potential no-deal Brexit, the EU and the Government must commit to supporting Ireland’s farmers.
“The recent collapse of Sterling has already hit cattle prices. We are down 40c/kg or over €150 per head on this time last year, when prices had already been decimated,” he said. "If we don’t have an EU support package in place and the UK crashes out in October, we are facing the potential wipe-out of beef production in this country."
The IFA’s President ended by calling on Government to set out their plan for ‘No Deal’, “rather than attempting to shift the focus from its lack of clarity around what will happen” if the UK leaves the EU on 31st October, deal or no deal.
Whilst making the appeal, Minister Creed confirmed that his department, as well as those in the Revenue Commission, have stepped up their preparations for a No-Deal Brexit, engaging with businesses who trade with the UK.
According to the Minister, businesses that move animals, plants, or both, to or from the UK, should engage with his Department so that they can help ensure traders are familiar with the requirements for importing or exporting such commodities from/to the UK.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.