MEP Mairead McGuinness said that Brexit must not be allowed to undermine Ireland’s dairy sector, according to Agriland.
McGuinness, who has been the first Vice President of the European Parliament since January last year, was speaking at the Virginia Agricultural Show this week, presenting the Diageo Baileys Champion Winner award.
She called the event a “magnet for all who are interested in dairy farming”.
Speaking at the event, she acknowledged that this year has been a difficult one for farmers across the EU, and she hinted that if the erratic patterns linger, “we may need to rethink our approach to farming systems”.
Regarding Brexit, McGuinness echoed that negotiations are set to become more intense as the exit date creeps closer and more uncertainty seeps in.
“Completion of the withdrawal agreement is essential,” she said, "as is reaching an agreement on the framework of the future relationship. Both are important for the island of Ireland, our farmers and our dairy and drinks industry."
She highlighted that there are still many outstanding issues, including the backstop for the border, but she emphasised the importance of protecting Ireland’s dairy industry.
“On the future relationship, EU negotiator Michel Barnier has consistently spelt out the EU position on maintaining the integrity of the single market – so important for our agricultural products – while reaching an ambitious agreement with the UK,” she added.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.