• Farming

Minister’s appeal described as ‘bizarre’

Monday, 19th August, 2019 9:40am
Minister’s appeal described as ‘bizarre’

IFA president Joe Healy (left) was critical of comments by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed (right) about preparing for a no-deal Brexit.

IFA president Joe Healy has described the appeal by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to the agri-food sector to make sure it is ready for Brexit, as ‘bizarre’.

‘Minister Creed’s appeal to businesses in the agri-food sector “to make sure that they know exactly what they will need to do in a no-deal scenario and make the necessary preparations now,” does not inspire farmers’ confidence at a time when we are facing a potential wipe-out,’ he said. ‘It’s akin to the captain of a ship going to sea without any lifeboats for the passengers.

‘Neither the Minister, Taoiseach, Tánaiste nor any member of cabinet has been able to provide us with concrete details as to how farmers’ livelihoods will be safeguarded in the event of a crash-out Brexit. 

‘The Minister is saying nothing about his plans to protect Irish farmers, who are in the front line and the most exposed in Europe.’ 

The IFA president added ‘IFA has set out clearly in our pre-Budget submission what is needed to prevent the sector from Armageddon. The EU and the government must commit to IFA’s package of measures, and support Ireland’s farmers. 

‘The recent collapse of sterling has already hit cattle prices. We are down 40c/kg or over €150 per head on this time last year, when prices had already been decimated. If we don’t have an EU support package in place and the UK crashes out in October, we are facing the potential wipe-out of beef production in this country,’ he warned.

Joe Healy called on Government to set out their plan for ‘no deal’ rather than attempting to shift the focus from its lack of clarity around what will happen if Boris Johnson follows through on his threat to leave the EU on October 31st, deal or no deal.