The President of ICMSA has stated that the Irish Government must declare that its support for, and agreement to, any final Brexit proposal from the EU will depend on a commitment from the EU that the next CAP Budget will be “at least” equal to the present Budget and that the Pillar1 Funding – from which farmers’ direct payments are drawn – will not be cut.
John Comer said reports that the CAP Budget has been already identified as the area in which so-called ‘economies’ must be made as the UK’s contributions end should profoundly alarm all with an interest in the economic survival of rural Ireland. He said that the payments to Irish farmers through CAP effectively went straight into the wider rural economy and its ‘multiplier’ effect was the single greatest economic factor ensuring the viability of massive areas of the State. In the same way as farmer payments had a positive multiplier effect into the wider rural economy, reductions and cuts would have a similar but negative multiplier effect that would, in quick order, push those businesses and services that depended on farming and food production out of existence. It was, Mr. Comer stated, really that basic.
“The reports that CAP has already been identified as the area that will bear the brunt of the disappearance of the UK’s contribution would mean that the bill for Brexit will be passed to the EU’s farmers. What that will mean – and no-one should be in doubt – is that the already alarming haemorrhage of people out of farming within the EU will accelerate and the corporatisation of food production within the EU will accelerate too. We will also see a massive inflation in food prices as well as food producers now have to try and recoup the losses to their already pressed incomes through hikes in price and this will have to be passed on to the consumer. The single most important duty of the EU is providing high standard, safe, sustainable and affordable food to its population; the means of doing that is the CAP and if that budget is to be attacked then, in ICMSA’s opinion, the very fundamental reason for the EU itself is being attacked”, said Mr. Comer.
Ends 4 July 2017.
John Comer, 087-2057846
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office