Last week the Irish Farmers’ Association published its own policy paper on Brexit titled “Brexit: The Imperatives for Irish Farmers and the Agri-Food Sector”.
In the paper, the IFA identified retaining tariff-free access to the UK market and minimal disruption of trade flows between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland as key priorities.
The paper argues that the best outcome for the Irish agri-food sector would be for the UK to remain within the Single Market and Customs Union and that should this option not be possible, the EU should seek to negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement between the EU and the UK. Such an agreement would need to maintain equivalent standards for the environment, food safety animal health and welfare, and the application of the Common External Tariff for imports to both the EU and the UK. You can access the IFA’s Brexit Policy Paper via https://www.ifa.ie/brexit/
Hollande warns UK that ‘advantages’ cannot be retained
The French President François Hollande HAS warned that the UK cannot retain the advantages of EU membership post-Brexit.
His message to Britain regarding holding on to such benefits was: “That’s not possible; the UK will become an outsider to the European Union.”
He said that forming a partnership with the US would not be an alternative, given that “the US is closing itself off from the world”.
He also warned that the EU would become “diluted and dislocated” if it gave in to member states focusing on their own self-interest rather than working towards a common ambition.
Hogan gives views on
agri impacts of Brexit
Irish EU Commissioner for agriculture Phil Hogan has argued that Ireland needs to take a “very strategic and far-sighted view” of its relationship with the UK and the EU.
He suggested that while the UK and Ireland have shared a close political and economic relationship as part of the EU, it would be a “fundamental error” if Ireland were to rely on the bilateral relationship with the UK in order to protect Ireland’s interests during Brexit negotiations.
The commissioner added that Brexit may present Ireland with the opportunity to “seize the next phase in our development and maturity as a sovereign state”.
At an IFJ conference in January the commissioner also raised the question of whether the UK would have to surrender its food standards in order to secure trade deals with the United States, suggesting that British food standards could become the “sacrificial lamb on the altar of a global Britain”.