Farmers along the border find Brexit ‘mind-boggling’

Last week, the UK voted to leave the European Union making Brexit a reality for farmers across the UK with one farmer describing it as “mind-boggling”.

Speaking on RTE Radio, Louth farmer Gerard Melia said that there is uncertainty around Brexit and that farming organisations need to put their heads together and hit it head on.

The EU payments are vital to farmers, he said and that other questions that arise include currency problems and border controls.

“The currency – is that going to hit farmers? It’s [Brexit] mind-boggling.”

Brian Renaghan,a suckler farmer on the border with south Armagh has 70% of his land in the North.

My first thought was the Single Farm Payment -that’s gone. That’s what keeps us in business, it’s uneconomical.

“I’ve got land both sides of the border. There’s a wee stream you’ve to walk across [that separates the land].

“Will there be stricter border checks, animal welfare or disease controls? We don’t know yet.

“I have to apply for a Single Farm Payment in the North through the North’s Department of Agriculture and in the Republic I apply for it through the Department there. The EU is funding both and that’s going to be gone.”

Another farmer speaking on the show was suckler to beef farmer Denis Brennan also from Louth. He said that in the short-term currency is the problem.

On beef farming, he said that with Britain outside of the EU, there’s a possibility of the UK sourcing beef from South America.

Meanwhile, on the border he said that Northern Ireland is in a special situation as it shares a border with the Republic.

“We don’t know how we’re going to contend with it,” he said.

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