[15 February/Global Meat News]

A report prepared for the Irish Government on the impacts of Brexit on Ireland’s trade and economy paints a very stark picture for food and farming in the country according to the Irish Farmers Association.  The report looks at various trading models that the EU could adopt with Britain moving forward and estimates Brexit will reduce Irish GDP growth between 2.8% and 7% by 2030 with the agri-food industry being one of the key sectors that would take most of the impact.  IFA President, Joe Healy, said the report should refocus government efforts towards avoiding a hard Brexit and securing an outcome that avoids this bleak scenario for the largest indigenous industry sector.  He added that questions regarding trade between Ireland and the UK needed to be answered, particularly the need to look beyond the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland towards the relationship between the EU and the entirety of the UK.  He also argued that if the UK wants continued access to EU markets after leaving the UK Government can’t have the freedom to open its market to low-standard or low-value products from outside the EU.