An IFA delegation led by president Joe Healy met with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels this week. The IFA president set out the IFA's Brexit priorities as outlined in the recently launched policy document, Brexit: The Imperatives for Irish Farmers and the Agri-food sector.
Joe said the engagement at the meeting had been very constructive: “It is clear that Michel Barnier and his team have a very good understanding of Irish agriculture and the very real threats posed by Brexit,” he said.
"There is clearly a very difficult negotiation period ahead between the EU and the UK. The IFA was very clear that the outcome must include a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the EU and UK, which would include the following specific elements for agriculture and food: tariff-free trade for agricultural products and food; maintenance of equivalent standards on food safety, animal health, welfare and the environment; and the application of the common external tariff for imports to both the EU and UK.”
The IFA delegation meeting with Michel Barnier included president Joe Healy; director general, Damian McDonald; director of European affairs, Liam McHale; chief economist, Rowena Dwyer; and, IFA Brexit co-ordinator, Elaine Farrell.
IFA will hold a major Brexit event on Monday, April 24, with EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan; the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed; and IFA representatives and industry leaders, who will also speak at the event in Goffs, Co Kildare.