Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ceisteanna (500)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

500. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the date on which a request (details supplied) was made to the European Commission seeking emergency aid for the farming sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit (details supplied); if he brought the matter to the attention of the Commission; if not, the person or body that did; and the EU legislative provision under which the request was made. [5354/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I and my officials have been working very hard for quite some time to sensitise other Member States and the European Commission to the potentially very severe impacts of Brexit on the Irish agrifood and fisheries sectors, and to the likelihood of specific supports being required in order to deal with these impacts. The institutions of the European Union are very well aware of the likelihood of a significant impact of a disorderly Brexit on Ireland’s economy because this has been part of the discussion from the beginning, and indeed this is explicitly recognised in the Commission’s own communication on contingency planning.

Most recently, I held a bilateral meeting with Commissioner Hogan last week to discuss the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit on the Irish agrifood and fisheries sectors. We discussed the unique exposure of these sectors to the threat of a disorderly Brexit, and the challenges that it could present. I stressed the need to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on farmers and processors, including through traditional market supports and exceptional aid under the CAP's Single Common Market Organisation regulation, and increased flexibility under State Aid regulations. Commissioner Hogan reiterated the EU’s readiness to respond and support Ireland, and we will remain in contact on these issues as the situation evolves.