EU support of Irish Brexit 'situation' depends on money in the kitty

Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Getty Images
Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo: Getty Images
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Reports that the European Commission has agreed compensation for Irish farmers of a collapse in prices, has been dismissed by senior EU officials.

According to reports over the weekend, the European Commission has agreed to compensate Irish farmers for a collapse in beef and dairy prices in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

However, senior EU sources confirmed to FarmIreland that no such deal or arrangement has been agreed. It's understood that there was no 'definite agreement' between the Irish Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan last week, only that the EU would look at ways it could help Ireland.

Irish beef farmers, in particular, face decimation in the case of a no-deal Brexit Minister Creed told his Government counterparts on last week.

However, the probability of EU aid remains unclear and according to one source "the issue will be if the money is in the kitty" to help Irish farmers.

It's understood that last week's meeting between the two Irishmen centered around political exchanges and to "ensure that everyone was on the same page" another source said.

In a statement, the minister said he had stressed the need to deploy market response measures, including exceptional aid, and that Commissioner Hogan reiterated the EU’s readiness to respond and support Ireland.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said last week he had alerted the commission that Dublin would seek aid for firms if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal next month, alongside other potential emergency EU and domestic funding.

Additional reporting Reuters.

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