ICMSA’s McCormack says “politically uncertain situation” will be used against us in CAP row

The President of ICMSA has said that it is “naïve” to think that our present politically uncertain situation is not affecting our ability to influence the CAP negotiations and he warned that others will use that vacuum against the interests of Irish farming. Pat McCormack said that while farmers did not doubt the energy and skill with which Mr. Varadkar would present Ireland’s case, it was nevertheless a fact that others – particularly the so-called ‘Frugal Four’ – were well aware of our domestic situation and would push hard against our proposals safe in the knowledge that Mr. Varadkar cannot be in a position to state that Ireland’s position is fixed and immovable into any future timeline.

“That’s just a fact – the others know where we are in terms of forming a Government. They will calculate that it is in their interests to ‘front-load’ the arguments around CAP and get the kinds of reductions they seek while Ireland is still working out a governing coalition. This is not to disparage the Government’s efforts or Mr Varadkar personally, it’s merely to state a reality that would apply just as obviously in reverse: if the Dutch were flailing around trying to form a coalition government and we knew that that government, once formed, would add a coherent and mandated voice in opposition to what we wanted, then we’d do the same thing and try and get the matter resolved in our favour before they had their political ducks ‘in a row’. It’s a real problem for Irish farmers who cannot – and will not – accept reductions in their present levels of payments  and it’s a real factor that should be informing the talks around possible coalitions that ICMSA wants speeded up in the interests of Ireland’s multi-billion Euro farm and food sector”, said Mr. McCormack.

Ends    21 February 2020

Pat McCormack, 087-7608958

President, ICMSA.

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Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office