30 Jan, 2019

Ifac welcome comments by Taoiseach on seeking emergency EU aid for farming sector in the event of a no deal Brexit

Comments from Leo Varadker confirming the Irish Government has alerted the European Commission of its intention to seek emergency aid for the beef, dairy and fishing sectors in the event of a no-deal Brexit were welcomed today.

Speaking today John Donoghue, CEO of ifac said; "This commitment of the Taoiseach to secure emergency EU aid for Irish farmers in the event of a no deal Brexit is very welcome news for a sector that is under massive pressure. Ifac offices around the country have been working hard with clients in recent weeks to address their Brexit concerns; farmers, food and agribusinesses are particularly worried about how they can protect their incomes and businesses if a no deal Brexit becomes a reality. Developments in Westminster overnight aren’t helping drive any confidence that a disorderly Brexit can be avoided. A crash out Brexit feels within touching distance and that, for the Irish farming, food and agribusiness sector, is the nightmare scenario. The sector is one of Ireland’s largest employers and the bedrock of the rural economy with an estimated one in seven jobs outside of the greater Dublin area in this sector alone. We must now put a protective ring around the sector and the many thousands of jobs it creates and sustains. The sector now needs transparency and clarity on the EU support package. Without it Ireland’s future as a world class food producer and exporter looks very uncertain.

Ifac Brexit teams around the country are advising clients to hold off on all significant investment decisions until the Brexit fog clears. Supply chains and logistics will be severely disrupted by a hard Brexit and they should be restructured as a matter of urgency. Businesses should carry out a full financial review immediately to ensure that sufficient bank supported financing is in place for at least the next twelve to eighteen months. We are working hard with clients to put their Brexit plans in place, the sector needs all the support it can get right now."