Speaking about a Council of Agriculture Ministers in Brussels earlier this week, Creed said: “The Council of Agriculture Ministers’ meeting was an important opportunity to highlight to the Council, the Commission and to my fellow Ministers, the impacts of a no-deal Brexit on the agri-food sector in Ireland and the potential knock-on effects across the EU market as a whole.”
He outlined the exposure of the Irish beef sector and called for the full suite of measures available under the Common Market Organisation, including targeted support for farmers, to be deployed rapidly in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Creed also referred to the need to protect the EU beef sector in trade discussions with Mercosur, against the background of significant uncertainty arising from Brexit.
He warned that a no-deal situation would have a “profoundly negative effect on both the Irish and the UK economies”.
“The Irish agri-food sector will be uniquely affected, with beef particularly exposed. The impact is likely to be immediate, and without support, at least in the short term, many of our beef farmers will struggle to survive.
“If Irish beef loses its competitive position in the United Kingdom market, there will inevitably be knock-on consequences, with significant displacement to elsewhere in the European Union. Ireland is fortunate to be part of a Union that has had the foresight to put in place a suite of measures to support primary producers at times of significant market disruption. If the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, this will be a disruptive event which is unprecedented.”
As well as warning about the impact on the fisheries sector, the Minister also held meetings with his French and UK counterparts and said he was “heartened by the solidarity displayed around the Council table today in relation to the threat posed by a no-deal Brexit”.