12,500 agri-food jobs to be lost ‘depending on type of Brexit’ – FF

The agri-food sector could lose 12,500 jobs “depending on what type of Brexit we get”, according to Fianna Fáil’s Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers.

She was speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Co. Donegal, on the topic of “Brexit: The Social, Political and Economic Fallout for Ireland and the UK now and into the future”.

“Depending on the type of Brexit we get, we could face a loss in the region of 55,000 jobs with 12,500 of these jobs in the agri-food sector and a €6.5 billion deficit in the state finances if we get a hard Brexit,” said Chambers.

There is no good Brexit.

Commenting about the Conservative Party leadership race in the UK – the winner of which is expected to be announced today, Tuesday, July 23, and who will then become prime minister – Chambers pointed out that both candidates have said “the backstop is dead” and that they have also ruled out a customs union.

It is expected that Boris Johnson – who has committed to take the UK out of the EU by October 31 with or without a deal – will prevail over his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt.

“Both have talked about the possibility of a Halloween hard exit to appeal to their party voters. It has become almost a badge of honour to boast about who will deliver the hardest Brexit,” argued Chambers.

She acknowledged that Johnson is “odds-on” to become the next UK prime minister.

We are all hoping for a deep sense of reality dawning when he takes office as prime minister. We are further hoping that if sense does not prevail with the new prime minister that the House of Commons can intervene and stop a hard Brexit. There is a lot of hoping on hope.

“Once the prime minister is elected and appoints a new cabinet they will have to engage with the EU including the Irish Government on how to avoid a hard Brexit,” argued Chambers.

“At least the majority of MPs in Westminster are united on one thing – they do not want a hard Brexit, but unfortunately they don’t want the withdrawal treaty either. Never the twain shall meet,” she added.