Tánaiste delivers a few positives amid the Brexit jitters
North Kerry's disproportionate exposure to the UK economy by dint of its massive agricultural sector will be limited in the event of a hard Brexit as 96 per cent of Cap funding has already been secured.
That was one of the major positives taken home by many of the farmers who attended Tánaiste Simon Coveney's public address in Listowel on Thursday - organiser of the event and FG Mayor of the Municipality Mike Kennelly told The Kerryman.
But the Tánaiste wasn't there to allay Brexit fears as he laid it out cold how devastating a Brexit crash-out would prove in the course of a wide-ranging overview.
The Tánaiste was speaking at a public meeting in St Michael's College, Listowel, on Thursday. It was billed by Mayor Kennelly as part of his own campaign for the looming local elections, but was attended by a cross-section of all parties and none.
"We were delighted to host the Tánaiste in Listowel and we had a very good turnout, there were a lot of farmers from across North Kerry present, as well as many business people who also stand exposed to Brexit and many more," Mayor Kennelly said.
"The Tánaiste did deliver some assurances, particularly to the many farmers present in relating the fact that 96 per cent of Cap is already secured, even without the massive British contribution to the EU budget.
"But that's at a time when many are already feeling the uncertainty of Brexit. Beef prices have dropped by about €200 per head with the factories seemingly holding tough on stock ahead of Brexit, so it's affecting farmers already. The Cap news was a major positive to take from it though.
"All that said, he still laid it out that Brexit is a crisis, but that the Government is doing all it can to prepare and that there will be access to emergency funding in Europe if Britain crashes out hard.
"It was a very informative event for everyone gathered, including the many business people who are deeply worried about the impact of tarrifs on exporting and importing materials," Mayor Kennelly told The Kerryman.