No-deal Brexit agriculture plans ‘completely inadequate’

The Contingency Action Plan on Brexit published by the Government has been labelled as “completely inadequate” for agriculture, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Commenting on the plan, published last night, the president of the ICMSA, Pat McCormack, said that farmers will be very alarmed and concerned that they continue to be left completely exposed to Brexit, adding that there is nothing in this plan to allay fears.

The primary producer in the agriculture sector is most exposed to Brexit implications given that the processors will simply pass on the negatives, the president asserted.

Time running out

The Government and the EU have done nothing to protect the primary producer and farmers have been left hoping that the UK House of Commons will pass the deal, with time running out, McCormack added.

“Such a scenario is completely unacceptable and it is about time that our policymakers woke up to the fact that certain sectors are extremely exposed and opening markets, while welcome, will not solve this massive problem facing us.

The contingency plan makes absolutely no reference to what plans the Government or the EU has to counteract the imposition of tariffs or the potential losses that will occur from Brexit.

“To suggest that the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) is a response to Brexit is stretching credibility,” McCormack said, adding that: “If it is a response, farmers would ask what measures are being put in place for milk, dairy and beef production, tillage and sheep?

“Farmers and other business people are entering very uncertain times while politicians continue to play games and it is about time that hard decisions were taken that will actually protect these exposed sectors,” he added.

Politicians are playing for time and our sector and the economic bedrock of rural Ireland is facing its biggest threat in decades.

McCormack said that the plan will give farmers no confidence and a step up in measures to support the sector is immediately needed with greater priority given to agriculture than is currently the case.