Farmers facing a Brexit ‘double whammy’ - ICSA
Making up the shortfall in CAP budget must be priority for Irish negotiators
Irish farmers will suffer a double whammy as a result of Brexit because there is no plan to make up the shortfall in the UK contribution to the EU budget, the ICSA has warned.
ICSA president Patrick Kent said Irish farmers were already paying a price for Brexit in the form of exchange rate volatility. He said farmers would not accept the added financial burden of reduced CAP payments.
It is estimated that current CAP funding of €58 billion could suffer a 7-9pc reduction, or a fall of €4-5 billion, as a result of Brexit.
However, Mr Kent insisted the CAP budget could not be cut as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
“We believe that making up the shortfall [in CAP funding] must be a priority and that each of the EU-27, including Ireland, will have to bite the bullet,” he said.
Speaking in Brussels last week, where ICSA was engaged in a series of lobbying meetings, Mr Kent called for increased Government efforts to protect CAP funding.
“It is unacceptable that Ireland pays the price for Brexit and we need the EU to understand this. While the EU focus is on ensuring that the UK cannot be seen to have a Brexit without adverse consequences, it is even more untenable that member states who remain in the EU would be the losers,” Mr Kent said.
ICSA pointed out that the value of the EU budget has been undermined in real terms by European Central Bank’s