Brexit tops agenda as Minister pushes Irish case with Estonia and Poland

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, will meet with his Estonian and Polish counterparts for talks on the EU and Brexit over the next two days.

Speaking ahead of his departure from Dublin this morning, Minister Creed referred to this latest phase of engagement.

“Once again, the central thrust of my approach will be to highlight the unique exposure of the Irish agri-food sector, but also the wider EU agri-food sector, to the implications of Brexit,” he said.

“I will be further developing many of the issues discussed recently with my German, Dutch and Danish counterparts, with a particular focus on the trade implications when I speak to my Polish colleague.

“The emphasis will be a little different when I speak to my Estonian counterpart – they will have a central role to play in the evolution of the negotiations when they assume their EU Presidency role later this year.

It is therefore crucial that they fully understand the importance of this issue for Ireland, and indeed for other Member States.

Concluding, Minister Creed looked a little further ahead to what will be an important ten days in raising the profile of agri-food and fisheries issues in a Brexit context.

“On the margins of next week’s Council of Ministers, I intend to host further bilaterals with Austria, Luxembourg and Belgium, and to travel on to Paris for talks with French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll,” he said.

While in Luxembourg, I will also meet UK Minister of State George Eustice in what will be one of the first Ministerial engagements with the UK after its triggering of Article 50.

“All of these activities will continue to be aimed at raising the profile of agri-food and fisheries issues while at the same time ensuring that there is a full understanding of the implications of Brexit for these vital sectors among Member States and the UK – as the exit negotiations get under way.”

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