Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 27 July 2017

Varadkar commits to put agriculture top of Brexit agenda

Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Leo Varadkar. Photo: Frank McGrath
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Leo Varadkar has outlined some key policy ideas which he would like to see implemented should he elected leader of Fine Gael and Taoiseach.

Mr Varadkar who currently is in pole position to become leader, today published 'Taking Ireland Forward', his policy and ideas paper which sets out a vision for Ireland.

Among the key elements of the document in relation to agriculture Varadkar said he would the unique difficulties of agriculture and food sector will be top of Brexit agenda.

Critical for Ireland’s trading relationship with the UK, he said he would support an EU-Britain Free Trade Agreement.

Varadkar also committed in his manifesto to prioritise the protection of the Basic Payments Scheme and agri-environmental schemes.

Tax cuts will also be part of his reign as Taoiseach, with marginal rates to be cut. He said nobody should be paying 50 cents on every €1 they earn.

Meanwhile, Simon Coveney in his policy document sets out to resolutely defend the interests of vital national industries such as agriculture, fisheries and food during future Brexit opportunities, while also taking full advantage of the new opportunities which Brexit presents both at home and abroad.

Mr Coveney also says that as a former Minister for Agriculture he has considerable experience negotiating complicated deals within a European context.


The Housing has refused to concede the Fine Gael leadership race to Leo Varadkar, saying he will fight to turn TDs back in his favour.

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The minister has claimed that some parliamentary party member he expected would support him sided with Mr Varadkar after watching the “momentum” move in the direction of the Social Protection Minister.

“What’s happened here is once this process kicked off momentum developed on Leo’s side and many people who had very, very positive conversations with me came to me and said ‘Look Simon, I see this going one direction I don’t want to get on the wrong side and I hope you understand,’” he said.

“And you know what, I kind of respect them for being up front about that. That’s politics.”


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