A meeting took place yesterday, Tuesday, July 28, between Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary, and European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan.

The video conference meeting took place as part of a wider range of engagements undertaken by the minister with key figures in recent days.

Commenting after the meeting, Minister Calleary said: “I was pleased to have the opportunity today to establish contact with Commissioner Hogan. Understandably, Brexit and the wider international trading environment were the two overarching themes of our discussions.

I had a very useful exchange with Commissioner Hogan on the current state of play in the EU-UK negotiations, and took the opportunity to reiterate Ireland’s agri-food and fisheries priorities in these negotiations.

“I welcomed the agreement on the MFF [the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework] last week, in particular the €5 Billion Brexit Adjustment Fund, for those member states most negatively affected by Brexit,” the minister added.

The pair also had a “useful exchange” on the international trading environment, including recent heightening tensions between the US and China.

Minister Calleary also brought up the EU-Mercosur trade agreement.

I found today’s discussions extremely helpful. I have already had significant engagement with the main stakeholders domestically and at EU level and I will be continuing this process of engagement over the coming days.

“Last week I had productive discussions with Irish farming organisations and tomorrow I will meet with industry representatives,” the minister added.

Fair Deal Scheme

In other agri-politics developments, legislation relating to the Fair Deal Scheme is set to come before the Dáil during its autumn session, according to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Speaking in the house last week, in response to a question from independent Cork South-West TD Michael Collins, the Tánaiste said: “I believe that legislation will be on the autumn schedule, when we come back in September.”

Earlier this month, Taoiseach Micheál Martin also indicated a possible timeline for the legislation, saying: “I do not think that legislation will be dealt with this month, so it will fall to the autumn session.”