Creed: ‘We will deploy whatever is necessary’ in Brexit support

Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has said the Government will “deploy whatever is necessary” in supports for the agriculture sector post-Brexit.

Speaking on RTE’s Prime Time, Minister Creed said that “agriculture is a damage limitation exercise in the context of Brexit; there is no upside”.

He reiterated that the Government here and the European Commission stood ready to implement whatever measures were necessary to “protect our biggest indigenous industry”.

What I see as the critical issue for Government is to make sure that in the chaos that might envelope in the weeks and months following a crash-out Brexit, is that our product remains on the supermarket shelves in the UK.

In a tense exchange with Miriam O’Callaghan, the minister said: “There is a critical point I have to make. Whatever is required, what we will deploy will be whatever is necessary, in conjunction with the European Union.

“What we will require is support for the primary producer to ensure that they can survive the inevitable drop in price that would result [from Brexit],” he added.

Supports will be delivered in a combination of state assistance and European Union assistance.

Creed argued that, in order to make sure that the agriculture sector comes through Brexit as unscathed as possible, supports would have to be put in place until a a future trading relationship between Ireland and the UK can be worked out.

“It will be many hundreds of millions of euro,” he claimed.

Speaking with respect to the cheddar cheese industry, Creed added that supports could be implemented in combination with aid to private storage.

The minister concluded by saying that: “We are not clear on what the outcome will be, but we are prepared for a crash-out Brexit.”