Stable UK government ‘probably better in long run’ – IFA

Ultimately a stable government in the UK would probably be better in the long run, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), reacting to what is a landslide victory for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party in the UK general election today, Friday, December 13.

Commenting on the election results so far, with just two of the 650 Westminster seats yet to be filled, IFA president Joe Healy said:

“The first development following the result is that sterling strengthened. This further enhances the argument for a beef price increase,” he said.

It now looks very likely that the UK will leave the EU on January 31, based on the withdrawal deal negotiated by Boris Johnson. However, the most difficult negotiation is probably still to come as the UK and the EU try to agree a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

“The most pressing risk here is that the transition period will be due to end on December 31, 2020. It will be almost impossible to agree an FTA by then,” the president warned.

Healy highlighted that this means that an extension to the transition period would likely be required.

“If this extension can’t be agreed we could face a potential cliff edge on December 31, 2020,” he concluded.

As the new EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan will be a key player in the FTA negotiations, the IFA noted.