Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed addresses steps for Brexit and CAP at Laois IFA meeting

Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed addresses steps for Brexit and CAP at Laois IFA meeting

Minister Michael Creed visiting Liam and Jim Delaney's farm. Also pictured are Kieran McEvoy, Francis Gorman, Minister Charles Flanagan and Liam Delaney

Pat Somers

The best possible outcome to Brexit would be worse than what we currently enjoy, the Minister for Agriculture told the Laois IFA County Executive meeting on Monday night.

“Our intention is to have as close to the current trading relationship with the UK as we have now, but the outcome cannot be as good,” he warned.

“We are preparing at all levels, and that includes for the worst possible outcome,” he stated.

This included looking at new global markets.

“Our future lies in the EU and we are firmly rooted in the remain state.

“We are one of the most globalised economies in the world and we depend on a benign international trading environment with rules. President Trump is a source of worry when we hear him talk about trade.

The Minister also addressed CAP. “CAP has delivered substantial funds on an annual basis into rural communites.

“The Hogan proposals foresee a reduction of 5 per cent which is effectively about €100 million a year to the farming community.

“Our aim is to hold the current level of budget and ensure there is a adequate budget in CAP and to convince all member states of this and we are dependent on building alliances.”

Minister Creed also noted that in the future there would be more conditionality to playment and these would relate specifically to climate change which is one of the biggest challenges facing the sector.

“We will miss the 2020 challenges but we can't afford financially to miss the 2030 targets. We are part of a global endeavour in this respect.

It's recognised in the marketplace that our produce is safe but one of the questions we are asked is it being produced sustainably. These are the issues in the market place which dove tail with public policy.

“There are a range of initiatives that will help us and the IFA and EPA have worked on it. Many of the instruments that are available to us can also deliver economic profitability,” he said.