Ireland must continue to attempt to extricate the British Govt ‘from the latest hole it has dug for itself’
Commenting on the announcement that the British Government intends bringing forward legislation that will unilaterally overrule aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the President of ICMSA, Pat McCormack, said that we are entering a period when cool heads and calm exposition will be needed. Mr. McCormack said that while we are entitled to feel aggrieved by this latest example of the British Government engaging in bad faith brinkmanship at our expense, we were bound to persevere and continue to attempt to extricate the British Government from the latest hole it had dug for itself. Mr McCormack said it was particularly unfortunate that the sector most likely to feel the full negative effect of any trade dissonance was the dairy sector – both north and south – which was an all-island economy and functioned with a degree of efficiency and integration that made it an example to all other sectors.
Mr. McCormack pointed out that probably 800 million litres of milk came north-to-south for processing and any ‘disentangling’ of this into respective sources would be logistically very difficult. He noted that the most negative effects would undoubtedly fall on northern dairy farmers and the ease with which certain northern Irish political parties were willing to contemplate this should give those farmers pause for thought. Today’s development was unlikely to affect the market given the long run-in to any practical changes, but it did set the UK and the EU on a collision course that was as avoidable as it was likely to be damaging.
The ICMSA President said that our best hope seemed to lie in some elements of the British Parliament grasping fully the scale of the diplomatic and legal vandalism that the proposed ‘overrule’ of the Protocol represented and defeating it in Parliament. Mr. McCormack said that we had to believe that there were enough people left in Westminster who had both the sense of honour and basic economic competence to weigh-up the disastrous consequences that will result from the course of action initiated today.
Ends 13 June 2022
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office
+353 (0)61 314677
ICMSA Head Office
John Feely House