Commenting on the findings revealed in today’s Irish Examiner – ICMSA Farm Poll which showed more than 80% of respondents believe that the UK Brexit decision will impact negatively on their prices, John Comer, ICMSA President, said that there was indeed very profound levels of anxiety and concern within Irish farming about the future status of the UK relative to the EU and the maintenance of our historic and absolutely vital food exports to the UK market.
Mr. Comer said that policymakers should be particularly concerned by the levels of farmers – 38%- who confirmed that they would be cancelling or postponing planned farm investment on foot of the Brexit decision. He said that the uncertainty was causing severe dislocation throughout Irish farming and given that the UK was not expected to actually trigger Article 50 till next spring, that uncertainty looked set to continue with a danger of it becoming even more pervasive.
He said that there were however certain action the Government could and should take, and the first of those was to send a clear and unambiguous signal to our EU partners that Ireland’s multi-billion euro food trade with the UK must not become ‘caught in any crossfire’ between the EU and UK as the exit negotiations developed and, secondly, that all talks on trade agreements, such as TTIP and Mercosur, must be parked immediately and for the duration of the Brexit negotiations and only then resumed on the basis of the UK’s departure and the interests of the remaining 27 Member States . Finally, Mr Comer said that the upcoming Budget provided an opportunity to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to our biggest indigenous economic and exporting sector and farmers would particularly look to the volatility-curbing Farm Management Deposit Scheme as a timely and acute response to the challenges that no one could not doubt were now facing our farming and agri-food sectors
Ends 20 September 2016.
John Comer, 087-2058846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office