Calves being sold for as little as 50 cent as Brexit fallout hits home – Dáil told
Calves are being sold for just 50 cent as Ireland’s beef sector, already badly hit by low prices, now faces huge Brexit tariffs on its €1bn UK export market, the Fianna Fáil leader has told the Dáil.
Micheál Martin said the Irish Government should now be actively seeking emergency EU aid for Irish farmers and food processors. He said the Government must also ensure that cheap South American meat exports are not allowed into the EU as he warned about the impact of potential UK tariffs unveiled today in event of a no-deal Brexit.
“The tariff regime would wipe out the beef industry,” Mr Martin told the Dáil.
The Fianna Fáil leader said EU provisions for emergency aid, under the so-called article 219, must now be sought by Ireland in Brussels.
Replying for the Government, Tánaiste Simon Coveney, said the State was in close contact with the EU Commission on these issues. He said that just today a team from the Agriculture Department was in Brussels meeting EU officials.
Mr Coveney said already the EU had raised the ceiling on permitted state aids to farmers from €15,000 to €25,000. He added that today’s announcements on UK tariffs would only apply if there was a no-deal Brexit which could be averted.
The Tánaiste said in the next 48 hours – following important votes in the British parliament – things may become clearer about Brexit.