Thursday, 28 March 2019

Questions (147, 149)

Brendan Smith

Question:

147. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has had recent meetings with the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development regarding the need to implement measures to support the agrifood sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit; the outcome of such discussions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14705/19]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

149. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has had recent discussions with the European Commissioner for Trade regarding the difficulties that will arise for the agrifood sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit; if measures will be implemented to protect Irish trade with Britain; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14707/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 149 together.

I have held a series of meetings with Commissioner Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development where we discussed the potential impact a ‘no deal’ Brexit could have on the agri-food sector and the Commission’s readiness to deploy support measures to help mitigate the potential impacts on farmers, fishermen and businesses in the sector.

Such measures could include traditional market supports and exceptional aid provisions under the CAP's Single Common Market Organisation regulation, as well as increased flexibility under State Aid regulations. Commissioner Hogan did confirm that the EU was ready to respond positively and my officials are currently in regular contact with Commission officials as the situation evolves.

The Common Market Organisation regulation, which was put in place under the Irish Presidency of the EU in 2013, provides a comprehensive toolbox for dealing with market disruption and it includes measures such as Intervention, Aids to Private Storage and Exceptional Aid.