Brexit: FDII outlines concerns during All-Island Civic Dialogue
Food and Drink Indusry Ireland has once again set out the concerns of the agri-food sector in the face of Brexit, citing job losses and other unforeseen effects. .
3 November 2016 | 0
Food & Drink Industry Ireland has set out the concerns of the agri-food sector regarding Brexit, at the All-Island Civic Dialogue at Dublin’s Royal Hospital in Kilmainham. FDII director Paul Kelly said that Brexit is the biggest challenge facing the sector. “While the outcome of the negotiations will have a far-reaching impact on our trade relationship with the UK,” Kelly said, “the collapse in Sterling is already costing jobs.”
Kelly said the FDII estimates 7,500 job losses if the pound stays weak against the euro for a prolonged period, and he called on government to put in place a series of measures in that case:
- An enterprise stabilisation fund
- A fund to help maintain existing UK markets and support diversification
- An intense and ongoing focus on cost competitiveness
“The irish agri-food sector is uniquely vulnerable due to the deeply entwined business and trade relations with the UK,” Kelly added. “The two-way trade flow involves raw materials, ingredients and finished products, so the priority for the food sector is to maintain full access to the UK market. UK membership with the EU is much more preferable than a bi-lateral trade agreement.