'Brexit is the most serious challenge to Irish farming for half a century'
Brexit presents the most serious threat to Irish farming and our agri-food sector for half a century, according to the IFA President, Joe Healy.
Speaking at the Association’s AGM in Dublin, he said that with 40% of Irish food exports going to the UK, no other Member State and no other sector is as exposed in these negotiations.
“Agriculture and food cannot become a battleground between Brussels and London. There are too many farm livelihoods and jobs at stake.
“Politics cannot be allowed override our fundamental economic interests.”
Healy also said that the Irish Government must use the strong relationship it has with both EU and UK leaders to influence a constructive approach to these difficult negotiations.
In Brussels, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, must make the retention of free trade in agriculture and food products between the EU and UK a priority, Healy said.
“In the short term, uncertainty has led to the weakening of sterling putting serious pressure on prices and exports.”
Healy, who was elected IFA President last April, after a long, drawn out campaign, said farmers have taken most of the pain resulting from the weakness of sterling.