Brexit job losses and CAP cuts warning
Fallout hits agri-business and German minister moots CAP budget reduction
Agri-businesses have warned of potential job losses and falling profits due to the drop in sterling's value since the Brexit referendum. Simon Cross of Kildare-based Cross Agricultural Engineering said he faced making a quarter of his workforce redundant within months if British sales didn't pick up again.
"We would normally have sold machines at every major show in the UK, but we haven't sold one yet this summer. Our most important customers are dependent on the heavily subsidised renewable energy sector. They just don't know what way things are going to pan out," he said.
However, the FTMTA boss Gary Ryan said it was too early to really say what the full impact will be.
"It all depends on what sort of relationship the UK manages to negotiate for itself post Brexit," Mr Ryan explained.
The debate on the future of subsidies has spread beyond Britain, with Germany's economy minister
stating that future EU reform will include reductions in CAP payments.
"Brexit could potentially lead to a €1.27bn reduction in the overall CAP budget, which is worth €54bn. Negative soundings from key EU figures at this stage only adds to uncertainty around the future of CAP that 130,000 family farmers across Ireland depend on," said Fianna Fail's agriculture spokesman, Charlie McConalogue.
European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan also moved to ease concerns on funding for the farm sector. He said that despite uncertainty over long-term spending, the European Commission had proposed a draft EU budget for 2017 worth €134.9bn, with €42.9bn ringfenced for farmers.