Government formation: Possibility of live export ban to non-EU countries receding

Government formation talks on agriculture are entering a “sensitive stage”, with further talks on the sector due to take place today, Wednesday, June 10, between the three parties concerned – Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

It is understood that, last week, a proposal had been brought to the table by the Green Party to end live exports to non-EU countries – a proposal that apparently didn’t curry favour with the other two parties.

Now, it appears – according to sources – that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are increasingly confident that the proposal to end live exports to non-EU countries will not form part of an eventual agreement.

However, separate sources stressed that “nothing would be agreed until everything is agreed”.

It is understood that today’s talks will focus on climate change and emissions. This is likely to be a key issue, with the Green Party calling for a 7% annual reduction (across the whole economy) in greenhouse gas emissions.

AgriLand also understands that key climate targets relating to agriculture have been dealt with in a separate process – a distinct working group – to the agriculture strand of the government formation talks.

This, it is understood, is a cause for concern in some quarters.

Live export trade ‘essential’

Earlier today, the importance of the live export trade for Irish agriculture was highlighted by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Commenting amid the government formation talks, IFA president Tim Cullinan said: “A strong live export trade is essential for Irish agriculture in terms of price competition and alternative market outlets.

“As an island nation in the EU, Ireland must insist that we have full access to all markets for our livestock,” Cullinan added.