Proposed Brexit Reserve Fund ‘essential’ for farmers ‘likely to take biggest brunt’
The proposed €5 billion Brexit Reserve Fund is “absolutely essential” in the context of the next Brexit deadline at the end of 2020, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).
ICMSA president Pat McCormack commented on the announcement earlier today, Friday, July 11, by the President of the European Council Charles Michel of a Covid-19 Recovery Fund, which included the Brexit reserve.
The farm organisation noted that, while negotiations are ongoing in relation to a free trade agreement between the EU and UK, there is a huge level uncertainty in relation to the outcome and the impact on specific sectors whether an agreement is concluded or not.
As a result, he argued: “It is absolutely essential the proposed Brexit reserve is available as required, is flexible in terms of the measures it can take and that it addresses the specific losses of primary producers should they occur.
“Beef farmers in particular in the second half of 2019 suffered considerable losses which have continued into 2020 while dairy farmers have seen a particular hit in 2020 due to Covid-19 and they cannot continue to bear the brunt of these losses.
“Brexit is completely outside the control of farmers; the Brexit Reserve proposal is a step in the right direction but it must be able to respond speedily and effectively in relation to Brexit specific losses.”
“The current MFF proposals mean that farmers will suffer a cut in support payments post 2020 which is unacceptable.
“The ICMSA’s position is clear – our government cannot support any MFF proposal that results in a loss in support payments for the farming community,” McCormack concluded.