Bulk of EU Brexit fund ‘must be for Irish farmers’ – IFA

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that the sector worst affected by Brexit would be Irish farming.

IFA president Tim Cullinan has been responding to reports today (Thursday, November 26) that the French government is targeting the €5 billion EU Brexit fund for French fishermen.

“IFA has campaigned strongly in Brussels to ensure that this fund was put in place. The Irish government must ensure they don’t now get outmanoeuvred by other countries,” Cullinan said.

While efforts continue to secure a deal, the Irish government must ensure that we are at the top of the queue for the Brexit support fund.

“Even if we secure a deal, there will be regulatory barriers to trade and a real risk that the value of the UK market will be undermined,” Cullinan added.

Brexit fund

The €5 billion ‘Brexit Adjustment Reserve’ was established to offset the unforeseen and adverse impact on the member states and sectors most affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The Irish government has been engaging with the European Commission as it rolls out the fund, to ensure that Irish businesses and sectors benefit to the maximum extent possible, in the context of the disproportionate impact Brexit will have on Ireland.

However, Ireland now faces intense competition for access to the funding, with France making a strong bid for funding to support its fishing communities with French access to UK waters a sensitive issue in the EU talks with the UK.

Negotiations between the EU and the UK have reached a stalemate in recent days, with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier threatening to pull out of the talks entirely if the UK does not move its position somewhat in the next two days.