Coveney: EU will bail us out of beef trade war with UK
Tanaiste Simon Coveney said the EU Commission will bail out Ireland’s beef industry if a no-deal Brexit sparks an agri-food trade war.
Mr Coveney said the Commission has “made it very clear” that they will “support and protect” the Irish agriculture industry if Britain crashes out of the EU without a trade deal.
The Tanaiste was responding to revelations that Britain is threatening to favour Brazilian beef over Irish produce by using a new system of quotas and tariffs.
He said the Commission “recognises the vulnerability” of Ireland’s beef sector in the event of a disorderly Brexit.
Fianna Fail deputy leader Dara Calleary raised the threat to the beef industry with Mr Coveney in the Dáil. Mr Calleary said beef farmers who are already feeling the impact of Brexit are “hugely angry” over the Govenment’s “in action”.
He accused the Government of taking an “it will be alright on the night” approach as the Brexit deadline looms on March 29.
The Dail debate followed reports that UK Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove is planning "tariff rate quotas" to allow certain amounts of produce into the UK without tariffs.
This would apply to products like poultry and beef – and would benefit massive producers such as Brazil at Ireland’s expense. Brazil produces huge amounts of beef cheaply so would be able to flood the UK market.