Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Questions (378)

Lisa Chambers


378. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has conducted a regional analysis of the impact of a hard Brexit; and if so, the details of same. [15008/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Brexit has the potential to have a significant impact on the agri-food sector throughout Ireland. As the Deputy will be aware, the agri-food sector is of critical importance to the Irish economy, and its regional spread means that it underpins the socio-economic development of rural Ireland in particular.

My Department has conducted a range of analysis and research in relation to Brexit. This work is ongoing, and has been primarily concerned with the implications of Brexit for agri-food trade with the UK across different sectors.

For example, both internally and in consultation with the relevant stakeholders through the Brexit Stakeholder Consultative Committee and the All-Island Civic Dialogue process, my Department has established the extent of sectoral exposure to the UK market, the potential implications of Brexit for each sector, and the potential practical impact on the day-to-day functioning of trade flows.

The agencies reporting to my Department have also undertaken important research in relation to Brexit, with Teagasc publishing reports on, for example, the potential implications for the Irish agri-food sector in overall terms and on the implications for family farm incomes, and Bord Bia conducting important work through its Brexit Barometer.

Additionally, my Department has contributed to analysis by a range of agencies and bodies including the ESRI, Copenhagen Economics and the Department of Finance, amongst others.

These analyses have highlighted the exposure of the agri-food sector to the negative impacts of a 'no- deal' Brexit. Through Government support, I and my officials have introduced a series of budgetary and marketing measures aimed at mitigating the more severe impacts, and I am in regular contact with Commissioner Hogan in relation to securing additional support for the sector in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.