Agri-food interests must be at forefront of Brexit talks
Ibec has spent the past year warning of, and preparing for the Brexit talks to begin. Now that that has happened, the body has comprehensive plans and expectations for Ireland's role.
31 March 2017
Ibec group Meat Industry Ireland has highlighted the importance of maintaining what it calls “business certainty” during the Brexit negotiations, which commenced this week between the UK and EU.
“56% of our meat exports are sold into the UK market,” said Cormac Healy, the group’s director, “in excess of €2 billion every year. As such, a positive outcome to negotiations is critical.
“A ‘hard Brexit’ will result in massive trade disruption and job losses,” he continued, “while a sensible outcome will be beneficial to both Ireland and the UK.”
MII urged the Irish government to, during the Brexit talks, to make sure that:
- Future trading negotiations are high on the priority list
- Trade talks must start at the earliest opportunity and run concurrent with the exit talks
- A realistic transition period leading to a free trade agreement with the UK must be delivered, to avoid damaging “cliff-edge” scenarios
“Amongst our EU-27 partners, we are uniquely exposed on agri-food trade with the UK,” Healy said. “This must be prioritised by our government. We at Ibec and MII are working with all of our members to ensure they are adequately equipped to deal with the immediate challenges of Brexit, and plan for future trading eventualities.