The president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Tim Cullinan has said he is very concerned about the impact of border closures on the movement of our agri-food exports to the continent, and on the efficiency of the food supply chain.

“We have normal trade across to the UK. The difficulties relate to the movement of freight which is trying to get across the UK landbridge to the continent,” he said.

This level of disruption could be very damaging for the movement of stock off farms and the efficient functioning of the supply chain.

“There are reports of trucks backed up as they try to get to their market. Whatever restrictions are needed cannot impede the movement of food,” Cullinan added.

Taoiseach must intervene

The farm organisation president said he will be contacting the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and asking him to intervene at EU level to clear any bottlenecks in the system.

“The problems with the orderly movement of goods underlines the importance of securing an agreement in the Brexit talks that avoids a ‘no-deal’ scenario,” Cullinan said.

On Friday last (December 18), the IFA and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) met to discuss the latest developments on Brexit.

In a joint statement afterwards, both presidents said trade on the island of Ireland, and the trade flows east-west and west-east between here and the UK, are important to the economies on these islands.

The two presidents said that every effort must be made to safeguard trade in agri-food goods, which plays a crucial role in the prosperity of rural communities.