Minister's call for agri-food businesses to prepare for ‘No Deal’ Brexit criticised by IFA

 

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has appealed to agri-food businesses, traders and hauliers of agricultural commodities to act immediately to ensure that they have taken the necessary steps to prepare for a “No Deal” Brexit. 

The Minister said: “Ireland does not want a no-Deal Brexit. The Government and the EU believe that that the best way forward is for the UK to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop provision. Ireland, the EU and the UK have stated that they don’t want a hard border on the island of Ireland.”  

Earlier this week, the Minister visited Dublin port to inspect the purpose-built infrastructural projects, which will allow officials in his Department and other Government Departments and Agencies conduct the necessary regulatory controls post Brexit. The Minister stated: “I want to acknowledge the work by all parties involved in the significant upgrade and expansion of these facilities which will now be used for existing third country trade, ensuring that these facilities are operating optimally in the event of a no-deal Brexit”. 

As part the necessary preparations that the Minister highlighted, he advised: “Make sure you are registered with Revenue and my Department; make sure you know what documents and certificates you have to submit, to whom you have to submit them and what are the time limits for submission. Decide who is going to be responsible for the submission of documents and certificates – you or a customs agent.” He added: "Check your supply chain. Review your regulatory obligations. Engage with your suppliers and clients.” 

However, the IFA was critical of the Minister's appeal, calling it 'bizarre'. IFA President Joe Healy said: “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. 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."