Government falling short on agriculture contingency plan in event of Brexit - Liadh Ní Riada MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has questioned the level of contingency planning by Government in the event of a vote for British withdrawal from the EU later this week. Speaking following a meeting with Agriculture Minister Michael Creed TD, Ní Riada said:
“Brexit has the potential to severely disrupt and depress agricultural exports. Britain accounts for almost one half of our meat and dairy exports, and the uncertainty that will follow a ‘leave’ vote on Thursday will impact on food producers across Ireland.
“Long-term a British exit from the EU will mean an end to easy access for their market for Irish produce, and could lead to tariffs, making Irish goods a less attractive proposition for British buyers.
“Ireland would be unable to negotiate its own trade deal with Britain under EU rules, whereas Britain would be free to agree its own terms with non-EU beef producing countries such as Brazil and Argentina.
“The failure of the Government here to draft a contingency plan for the Irish agriculture sector is worrying and points to cavalier attitude to the fortunes of Irish farmers.
“Sinn Féin is opposed to Brexit, and while others are burying their heads under the sand, we are actively campaigning in the interests of Irish farmers North and South.”