A selection of Northern Ireland’s leading agri and business experts gathered at Ulster Bank’s headquarters this week (26 September) for a Brexit Briefing, hosted by the bank’s senior agriculture manager, Cormac McKervey.
Speakers included Ulster Farmers’ Union CEO, Wesley Aston; NIFDA Chair, Declan Billington and Mark Sterritt, Manager, Intertrade Ireland who led the discussion for Ulster Bank staff on the threats and opportunities facing farmers and the wider agricultural industry post Brexit, before an economic update from Richard Ramsey, Ulster Bank’s Chief Economist.
While many details of the UK’s Brexit deal remain uncertain, the event hoped to overcome some of the confusion and give agri and business stakeholders a more common understanding of the challenges which lay ahead.
Focusing on issues such as trade, labour, regulation and future support, each of the speakers reiterated the importance of businesses and membership bodies working together to provide a coherent voice in the Brexit discussions.
Thanking the speakers for their helpful insights, Ulster Bank’s Senior Agricultural Manager, Cormac McKervey said: “The current currency situation means many of our farmers are enjoying a ‘honeymoon’ period however, as the UK continues to negotiate it’s exit from the European Union it is becoming increasingly clear that agriculture will be one of the industries most exposed by Brexit.
“We at Ulster Bank want to ensure that our customers are in the strongest possible position to navigate Brexit so it was extremely useful for our staff to receive this briefing. I’d like to thank all of our speakers for shedding some light on the challenges facing the sector and look forward to further engagement in the weeks and months ahead.”