'EU Member States should increase net contribution to keep CAP funding''
Fianna Fail leader on the future of CAP funding
EU Member States should look at increasing their net contributions to ensure the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget is not reduced.
The CAP budget will come under pressure from Brexit with estimates that the EU overall budget will be €3bn short and now Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin has said that Member States must step up to the mark and
"38pc of the EU budget is allocated to the CAP and there will be a huge financial hole in that budget when Britain leaves, and it's extremely important from a food security point of view that as much as possible of that budget is retained and supplemented."
Martin also said that one option is to increase the net contributions, but reform of the CAP payments should be looked it. Fianna Fail has proposed a ceiling of €60,000 on CAP payments to farmers.
He said positioning Irish farming in a more competitive position was vital for the industry. "We have to offer the idea of increasing the net contribution and looking at potential changes down the line, post 2020 and being ready for it."
The European consumer is very focused on quality, he said, and the integrity of the product.
The undermining of the cross border trade is a huge threat from Brexit, Michael Martin said.
He said the almost seem-less flow of cattle and livestock needs to continue. "We can't stress enough the seriousness for the island economy and food industry in particular."