Ireland’s no-deal contingency plan ‘should be made public’

It has been demanded that the Government immediately publish its contingency plan in the case of a ‘no-deal’ crash-out Brexit next March.

The president of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), Pat McCormack, said: “Airy declarations that the Irish Government was not planning for a no-deal eventuality were not sufficient reassurance for the state’s vital farming and food sectors.

We know more about the UK’s ‘no-deal’ arrangements than is publicly known about our own.

He remarked that there is widespread anxiety in the farming and food sectors about what will happen.

“It is time that we moved onto the ‘nuts-and-bolts’ arrangements that would apply in the worst eventuality of a crash-out no-deal situation on March 30.”

Continuing, McCormack added: “We have a multi-billion euro food export sector with the UK that is potentially facing tariffs and we have thousands of cross-border deliveries and collections from farms and processors.

“This aspect of the sector has to have schedules and procedural arrangements as quickly as possible and – as of now – we don’t know where any of this is going to end up.

Even the chance that a no-deal Brexit could occur – without us being prepared and knowing what we have to do – is too much of a gamble.

Concluding, McCormack said: “We need to see where the gaps are going to be and how the Government and the EU intends to support the agri-food sector from the impact of Brexit; an event completely outside their control and one with potentially disastrous consequences.”