Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 9 December 2016

Concern over future UK agreements with non-EU countries

Sarah Collins

Published 29/10/2016 | 09:30

The UK says it still wants to trade freely with the EU after leaving, but also wants to sign trade deals with non-EU countries. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
The UK says it still wants to trade freely with the EU after leaving, but also wants to sign trade deals with non-EU countries. Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The impasse on the Canada deal bodes ill for a post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said last week that it was "important" for the bloc to conclude the Canada deal, and said the UK would be looking for a bespoke agreement with the bloc after leaving.

UK Conservative MEP Syed Kamall said that "countries across the planet that are looking to open trade with the EU will be wondering whether it is worth years of effort".

Freely

The UK says it still wants to trade freely with the EU after leaving, but also wants to sign trade deals with non-EU countries.

This will have major impacts on Irish farmers, particularly beef and pig meat producers, who depend on the UK market for up to half of their exports.

Irish mushroom growers, whose contracts were negotiated in sterling, are already feeling the negative effects of Brexit after to the plunge in the value of the British pound.

Several have gone bankrupt since the UK's June vote to leave the EU.

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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy asked EU agriculture chief Phil Hogan for help for the Irish mushroom sector.

"The mushroom industry in Ireland is in disarray at the moment, with fluctuations of the sterling leading to massive losses," Mr Carthy said.

"Measures must be taken to support mushroom growers in Ireland until they are in a position to renegotiate prices in the new year."

He also called on the Irish Government to put in place special measures.

The EU says it won't discuss any future deals with the UK until the government triggers an official Brexit request, which it says it will do before the end of March 2017.

Online Editors