The Government Brexit fund for Irish farming must be ready to go on 1 January, IFA president Tim Cullinan has said.
As revealed by the Irish Farmers Journal, the Government is finalising a Brexit support package worth in the region of €400m for farmers.
Cullinan said: “In the context of a no-deal, Brexit could cost the agri food sector €1.5bn annually in tariffs alone - this fund won’t go far. We must also ensure that Irish farmers are first in line for the €5bn EU Brexit fund.
“We are still hopeful of a Brexit deal, but even if that happens, there will be non-tariff costs and a risk that Irish product will be undercut by cheap imports to the UK. Irish farmers are already feeling the effects of currency fluctuations.”
The IFA warns that even in the event of a trade deal, Irish farmers could require meaningful long-term structural adjustment support from the EU €5bn Brexit adjustment fund.
Cullinan continued: “We are also having regular meetings with the Ulster Farmers Union and the National Farmers Union in the UK.
“It is clear that farmers in the EU and the UK all want a deal, but we also need the Government and the EU to be ready with support.”