Minister seeks common ground with Danes, following German and Dutch visits

Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine, Michael Creed, this morning concluded a two-day series of “high-level” political meetings on Brexit. The most recent meeting was with Danish Minister for Agriculture and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen, in Copenhagen.

The engagement follows on from meetings yesterday, in Berlin and The Hague, with the German and Dutch Agriculture Ministers respectively, where Minister Creed outlined Ireland’s priorities in terms of the forthcoming Brexit process.

Speaking after the meeting Minister Creed said: “It is reassuring to find substantial common ground amongst other EU member states, specifically in terms of their concerns about the potential trade implications for the agri-food and fisheries sectors.

Like Ireland, Denmark is a significant net exporter to the UK with a trade surplus in agri-food of over €1 billion. Minister Lunde Larsen shared my determination to see this trade protected – as far as is possible in the context of future trade negotiations.

Addressing his efforts to build a common platform on the issue of fisheries, Minister Creed commented: “I am encouraged by the consensus amongst colleagues, who are heavily dependent on access to the UK 200-mile zone, to proceed in a cohesive manner on this important matter.

“The Danes land approximately one third of their fishing effort, in volume terms, from these waters. They are equally as determined as we are to ensure that this important issue is not dealt with in isolation.

Concluding on his series of meetings over the past two days Minister Creed said: “Today’s discussion with my colleague, Minister Lunde Larsen, is my sixth such meeting with individual EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers in the past fortnight.

“This is part of an important process I’m undertaking to raise awareness of Ireland’s exposure, from an agri-food and fisheries perspective, from the UK’s decision to exit the EU. It is also important for building alliances, in terms of shaping the EU’s negotiating position as we move into the early phases of the exit process.”