‘CAP must be protected’: Creed meets German Minister for Agriculture

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed today met with his German counterpart – Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Julia Klockner – in Berlin.

In his first formal engagement with Minister Klockner following her appointment in March, the minister discussed Brexit, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform and the EU budget.

Speaking after the meeting, Minister Creed said: “This was a timely opportunity to discuss issues of mutual importance at what is a crucial stage in the Brexit negotiations, and on a day when the commission published its draft proposals on the multi-annual financial framework (MFF) post-2020.

“The latter in particular marks the intensification of an important debate on the future of the CAP budget.

I outlined Ireland’s concerns to Minister Klockner in relation to the proposals and stressed in particular that the CAP remains a priority for Ireland in the context of its central role in supporting the development of an innovative and environmentally sustainable agri-food sector across the EU.

The ministers also had a “comprehensive discussion” on the current state of play in the Brexit negotiations.

Minister Creed emphasised the importance of avoiding a hard border and acknowledged German support for the approach being taken by the commission on this issue.

Implications of Brexit

He also outlined the particular exposure of Ireland’s agri-food and fisheries sectors to the implications of Brexit.

Minister Creed said: “Again it was notable how much Ireland and Germany have in common on this issue.

“I emphasised Ireland’s absolute commitment to EU27 unity in the negotiations, and I had a very useful exchange with Minister Klockner on current German thinking in relation to Brexit – including on the discussions on the framework for the future relationship negotiations.

We also agreed that officials should intensify their contacts on some of the practical responses that might be undertaken in relation to specific aspects of the EU response to Brexit.

The minister added that both sides had agreed the priority that must be maintained in relation to fisheries in the Brexit negotiations and on the need to maintain fisheries as an “integral part of the future relations on trade”.

Concluding, Minister Creed said: “Brexit presents challenges for all member states and I thanked Minister Klockner for the solidarity shown to date by the other member states, including Germany.

“I undertook to keep in close contact with Minister Klockner and also extended an invitation to visit Ireland to see first-hand the potential implications of Brexit for the agri-food sector.”