Healy: EU has to ‘pony up’ on Brexit compensation

Joe Healy, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), has said that the European Union has to “pony up” when it comes to offering adequate compensation for a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking to AgriLand today (February 13), Healy argued that EU leaders need to make sure that Ireland, and other countries that remain loyal to the EU, aren’t “thrown to the wolves” after Brexit takes effect.

Healy was attending a meeting between the IFA and Oireachtas members today, where the association tried to lobby TDs to do more to address the crisis in the beef sector.

It was very important to get in the huge number of politicians that we have here today, and to highlight to them the crisis.

“We had to get across the importance of getting an adequate compensation packet in place if Brexit goes wrong,” commented Healy.

He added: “I appreciate you’re talking about big money – but if we’re serious about keeping the industry alive, Europe has to pony up and make sure that countries that remain loyal to the EU aren’t thrown to the wolves.”

Healy insisted that the EU can’t have a situation where countries that remain in the block are worse off than a country that “decides to up sticks and leave”, referring to Britain.

“It’s up to the EU to show us how committed they are, and how highly they regard Ireland’s support for the European vision,” said the IFA president.

Future of the sector

Healy also explained to AgriLand what, in his view, needs to go right in order for beef prices to show signs of improvement.

“In the second half of the year, if there’s more certainty, if a deal is done on Brexit, if the pound sterling settles and if the numbers of stock coming out is reduced, you would hope there would be an improvement in market conditions,” he explained.

Looking at markets further afield, Healy also argued that trade with the Chinese market, if it increased this year, may offer further possibilities for improving the state of the sector here.