Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (974)

Michael Fitzmaurice


974. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the provisions that have been put in place to facilitate the smooth movement of livestock across the Border in case of a no-deal Brexit, which will mean lower tariffs on live trade compared with beef exports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38228/20]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The movement of animals and goods across the Border is comprehensively addressed in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement's Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. This Protocol will apply from 1 January 2021 regardless of the outcome of the Future Relationship negotiations.

The Protocol upholds measures to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, including that Northern Ireland will continue to apply the Union Customs Code and other relevant EU legislation. This will ensure that many of the changes arising in our trade with Great Britain will not apply to trade with Northern Ireland. The Protocol is clear, and the Commission have confirmed, that the movement of animals and goods, including livestock and beef, between Northern Ireland and the EU will continue to be treated the same as intra-EU movements. This is possible because the Protocol provides that relevant EU law applies to and in Northern Ireland.

Whether tariffs will apply to Irish beef exports to the rest of the UK from 1 January 2021 is dependent on the outcome of the negotiations, which are ongoing. Ireland has been clear that one of our key asks is continued access to the UK market, without tariffs and with minimal additional customs and administrative procedures.