The Department of Agriculture 'preparing for all Brexit eventualities' - Creed

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. Photo: Arthur Carron
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. Photo: Arthur Carron
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

The Department of Agriculture “is preparing for all eventualities” when it comes to Brexit, Minister Michael Creed has said.

Minister told FarmIreland that while he still believes a no deal Brexit “is the worst possible deal”, he said his Department is preparing contingency plans in the event of the “UK crashing out of the EU”.

“I remain of the view that no deal is the worst possible outcome. What we have now in the draft withdrawal agreement is the basis to proceed to negotiate a deal, but we are preparing in my Department for all eventualities,” he said.

“In fact, in the budget only recently passed we have finalised provisions for some of the infrastructure and staffing arrangements that will are necessary to deal with the contingency.

“We are talking about port infrastructure, airport requirements, staffing, IT systems etc. We are well advanced across the whole of government in dealing with all those issues.”

“Notwithstanding all the events of earlier today and events unfolding as they are. Having an agreement is essential to avoid the UK crashing out of the EU next March and all the chaos that would bring. A settled withdrawal agreement guards against that and finalising that deal is the best way to ensure that we can all plan for the changed future that lies ahead.”

Minister Creed acknowledged that the resignations of Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Northern Ireland Secretary Shailesh Vara are “not easy issues to resolve”, he did not wish to comment on the resignations which he said were “issues germane to the UK political system.”

He added that the Irish government is extremely happy with the draft agreement but that it takes “two to tango” when negotiating a deal.

"From an Irish government point of view, we are extremely happy with the text that is agreed. In the context of the transition period and the future trading period, this is the foundation stone upon which a withdrawal agreement will be built upon which we are very satisfied with. Without a withdrawal agreement there is no future trading agreement,” he said.

"It takes two to tango. We need to have a withdrawal agreement approved first and then to build upon that. We want to have as close as possible trading agreement with the United Kingdom as possible. It’s not possible to maintain as close as possible to what it is now when by their own ambition they wish to be outside of the customs union and the single market.

“It’s about engineering a trading agreement cognisant of those red lines and acknowledging within those parameters of negotiations that brings with it friction and costs, unfortunately.”

Online Editors