As Talks Enter “Brexit Home straight” ICMSA Wants Govt Eyes Fixed On Irish Economic Interests
The President of ICMSA has said that as intensive negotiations resume on what Pat McCormack said could, hopefully, turn out to be the “Brexit home straight”, it is vital that the Irish Government kept its gaze fixed on what Irish farming and agri-food required by way of new post-Brexit trading arrangements, and these, said Mr. McCormack, were a system as close to the present one as possible.
“I know that every farmer in Ireland is watching this closely and willing the negotiations to succeed on a basis that leaves our food exports to Britain continuing on a tariff-free and quota -free basis. We have held those markets for centuries and we’re certain that British consumers want our food and we, for our part, want their custom. I’m also very conscious of the fact that Ireland does not have an independent voice in this; we are part of the EU and Mr Barnier therefore speaks for us. There is also the fact that the other Member States have given us unwavering support on the issue of the border and we must show solidarity in return”, said the ICMSA President.
“Nevertheless, we have to guard against our multi-billion Euro food exports to the UK being held ‘ransom’ by other Member State’s particular concerns that are nowhere near as important to their economies as food is to Ireland’s. Ireland will obviously stand with and within the overall EU position, but the others will have to remember that stopping a Brexit deal for issues that might represent 1% or 2% of their economy in a way that severely damages our food exports to the UK which represent up to 15% of net indigenous Irish economic exports is a very different matter. The Irish Government will remember that, ultimately, they must represent Ireland’s interests and – it bears repeating – our interests are in a post-Brexit arrangement that is as close to the present system as possible”, said Mr. McCormack.
Ends 22 October 2020
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
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