International visits by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, over the coming days are set to focus on the potential effects of Brexit on the agri-food sector.

Minister Creed is set to avail of his St Patrick’s Day duties to “further extend his engagement with key EU Member States on Brexit”.

Common concerns about the likely impacts of Brexit on the agri-food and fisheries sectors are set to be top of the agenda when Minister Creed meets his colleagues from Germany, the Netherland and Denmark.

These planned visits by Minister Creed follow on from recent formal meetings with his Spanish, Estonian and Maltese counterparts.

Minister Creed believes these meetings will give him the opportunity to outline Irish concerns surrounding the possible effects of Brexit.

“I look forward to using these bilateral meetings to emphasise the very real and serious concerns that we in Ireland have about the potential impact of Brexit on our agri-food and fisheries sectors, and to explore other Member States’ assessment of the implications from their perspective.

One thing that I believe we all have in common is that we face a very negative impact on trade.

“While Ireland is particularly exposed in this regard, because of the scale of our engagement with the UK market, these Member States also have a significant trading relationship with the UK.

“I intend therefore to explore the scope for a common approach in this area, with a view to ensuring that the interests of the agri-food sector are placed at the top of the European agenda in the negotiations,” he said.

These meeting should provide a basis for productive discussions on what will be a shared challenge for the European agriculture and fisheries sectors, Minister Creed added.

Meeting with German Minister

This morning Minister Creed met with the German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, in Berlin.

“This morning’s meeting is part of an ongoing process of building alliances and awareness for our unique position, as an integrated food economy on a North-South basis, and the threat Brexit poses to this model.

“Germany has a significant trade surplus with the UK in terms of agri-food products (€3 billion), which is an important point to note when establishing common ground,” Minister Creed said.

The Ministers also discussed the future of CAP post-2020, the ongoing review of ANC’s and the current market situation.