Commenting on the Contingency Action Plan on Brexit published by the Government, the President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack said, that farmers will be very alarmed and concerned that they continue to be left completely exposed to Brexit and there is absolutely nothing in the Contingency Plan that would ally these fears.

The hard facts of the situation are that the primary producer in the agriculture sector is the most exposed individual to a implications of Brexit given that the processors will simply pass on the negatives.   The Government and the EU, Mr. McCormack said, have done absolutely nothing to protect the primary producer and we have been left hoping that the UK House of Commons will pass the deal to save us from the negative consequences and we are now down to days in terms of No Deal crash out.   Such a scenario is completely unacceptable and it is about time that our policymakers woke up to the fact that certain sectors are extremely exposed and opening markets while welcome will not solve this massive problem facing us.

The Contingency Plan makes absolutely no reference to what plans the Government or the EU has to counteract the imposition of tariffs or the potential losses that will occur from Brexit.   To suggest that BEEP is a response to Brexit is stretching credibility and if it is a response, farmers would simply ask the question, where are the measures for milk, dairy beef production, tillage, sheep etc?

Farmers and other business people are entering very uncertain times while politicians continue to play games and it is about time that hard decisions were taken that will actually protect these exposed sectors.   Politicians are playing for time and our sector and let’s be clear, the economic bedrock of rural Ireland, is facing its biggest threat in decades.   The Contingency document will give farmers absolutely no confidence and we immediately need to see a step up in terms of measures to support the sector and greater priority given to the sectors’ issues than currently both from our Government and the EU, concluded Mr. McCormack.

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