BRUSSELS, Belgium - The future of Irish beef exports, and other issues that will face European farmers in the event of a no-deal Brexit, were discussed at a meeting of agriculture ministers from across Europe on Monday.
"Today's 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 with potential knock-on effects across the EU market as a whole," Michael Creed, Ireland's Minister for Agriculture said Monday night.
Under an AOB item on meat markets, Creed outlined the exposure of the Irish beef sector in particular; 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. He also referred to the need to protect the EU beef sector in trade discussions with Mercosur, against the background of the significant uncertainty arising from Brexit.
On fisheries, the minister highlighted the exposure of the Irish fisheries sector, and the need for careful joint EU management of fisheries resources, as well as financial supports for fishermen and their communities.
Creed also held a meeing with Commissioner Phil Hogan on requirements for both traditional market supports and exceptional aid under the Common Market Organisation Regulation, following on from meetings at an official level last week.
He also met with French Minister for Agriculture Didier Guillaume with a particular focus on landbridge issues for Irish exports, and the importance of the lairage capacity at Cherbourg in maintaining live exports from Ireland.
Creed also caught up with the new UK Minister for Agriculture Robert Goodwillto whom the Irish minister reiterated the importance of the UK ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement to avoid the prospect of a no-Deal Brexit.
"I am heartened by the solidarity displayed around the Council table today in relation to the threat posed by a no-Deal Brexit. We all hope that this matter will be resolved in a sensible way in the coming days," Creed said.