We want Irish cheese – Boris Johnson
The former British foreign secretary, figurehead of the Brexit leave campaign and Conservative MP Boris Johnson was in Dublin this week.

Boris Johnson continues to advocate for the UK to leave the EU, but says he will not support the deal currently on offer.

He says that the UK still wants to do business with Ireland post-Brexit.

“It is right to come out, but we want to trade with Ireland. We love Ireland. We buy 78,000t of your cheese every year,” he told RTÉ News.

Johnson was in Dublin this week for the Pendulum summit.

Sensitivities

“People in the UK deeply understand the sensitivities around your border. We will not see a hard border, that would not be right. There are other solutions,” he said.

He does not agree with the backstop which is currently described in the deal, but he commends Irish policy makers for trying to find a solution.

The UK, to be totally frank, was not remotely clear about what we wanted

“I think actually what was interesting about the Irish position over the years, and I pay tribute to the Irish Government, people in Dublin saw these issues a long way out a lot more clearly than people in London did.

"They got to work very fast on finding technical solutions and simulations on the border issue in the run-up to the referendum and the six months following.

"What then happened was that the UK, to be totally frank, was not remotely clear about what we wanted.

"In that vacuum, everything went in to reverse and we started talking about staying in the customs union. That, in my view, is where it all went wrong.”

Barriers to trade

Johnson believes that a no-deal Brexit will not happen, as neither the EU or the UK wants barriers to trade.

He added that the EU and UK, in the absence of a deal by March 29 will be able to extend the existing arrangements for as long as necessary to negotiate a free trade agreement.

“I don’t think that the EU, when it comes to it, will want to punish their exporters or business in the UK by having tariffs or quotas or anything else,” he said, despite RTÉ’s Caitriona Perry reminding him that is not currently on offer at the moment.

He said he would support Theresa May in her leadership, but not the current withdrawal agreement that is on the table.

The former British foreign secretary said that Brussels negotiations always reach a deal in the “final furlong”.

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Watch: new Agri Aware campaign to air in cinemas and on TV
The ‘Many Hats, One CAP’ advert is set to air on television and in cinemas in the coming weeks, with the campaign highlighting how important investment in agriculture is to the wider Irish economy.

This week, Agri Aware launched its new 'Many Hats, One CAP' TV and cinema advert.

Produced by Traction Marketing, the advert is part of a wider campaign which aims to promote and showcase how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affects everyday life in Ireland, whether that is subsidies paid to a farmer directly or the countless indirect knock-ons that keep rural Ireland alive.

The launch took place at Movies Dundrum, Dublin, on Thursday evening, where both the full and short versions of the advert where premiered for the first time on screen.

Rural landscape

The ad itself follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland.

From clips of rural entrepreneur and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school, to farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd, it gives viewers a glimpse into the role the agri-food industry plays.

Agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive

At the premiere, there was a panel of guest speakers which included Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe and three of the stars in the ad; Hayden, Moran and Teagasc researcher Dr Dayle Johnston.

Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the panel reiterated the point that agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive, and the CAP is central to that.

Alan Jagoe spoke of the huge work, time and spend going behind the campaign.

“It costs money to put it out there, but consumers and society need to know where their money is going and who they are supporting.

"There needs to be an understanding and respect for the production costs and efforts that go into food production,” he stressed.

2016 FBD young farmer of the year Kevin Moran made the point that CAP itself “is not just one thing – a subsidy for a farmer - it is much more than that; it’s an investment in food security, an investment in rural economies and this investment is invaluable to rural Ireland”.

'Many Hats, One CAP' is a 12-month public information campaign that will go live across TV, radio, cinema, social media and print over the coming weeks.

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Farmers to lodge appeals over Castleblayney Mart next week
Around 40 of an estimated 100 farmers owed money by a collapsed Co Monaghan auctioneering firm have decided to pursue legal action against the Property Services Regulatory Authority.

Farmers left unpaid by the liquidation of EP Nugent Ltd, the company operating Castleblayney Mart, have decided to launch legal action against the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA).

At a meeting on Thursday, attendees heard that one case against the PSRA failed, but won when it went to appeal.

Claim

Solicitor Paul McCormack told the Irish Farmers Journal that they have agreed to put “in a claim under the property services regulation Act 2011".

"Section 78 part three allows us to bring a claim. One case went forward to the Property Services Regulation Authority and was refused but went through to the property services appeal board and won.”

He says that the basis for the claim is that EP Nugent Ltd was trading “dishonestly” by not having a license.

“There’s 40 individual cases,” McCormack said, adding that the average claim is approximately €1,000.

“Nugent would like to see the farmers paid. There’s no guarantee it will happen. Claims had to be lodged within 12 months of the people finding out there was a problem. The liquidation was 9 April 2018 so we are up tight against the wire.”

McCormack advised that anyone who wants to make a claim should get in touch with his office at Thomas Street, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, or the IFA.

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Chlorothalonil ban ‘a hammer blow’ to tillage farmers
The Irish Grain Growers Group has come out against the discontinuation of chlorothalonil.

The discontinuation of chlorothalonil is a hammer blow to Irish tillage farmers, Irish Grain Growers Group chair Bobby Miller has said.

On Friday, the European Commission voted to ban chlorothalonil, a key ingredient in Bravo, which is used by tillage farmers to fight septoria and ramularia.

Cost-efficient product

“The one good thing about Bravo is that it is a cost-efficient product. There will be alternatives available in the future, but will be they be as cost-effective for the farmer and will they be as effective as Bravo,” Miller told the Irish Farmers Journal.

We have to stand back and allow imports of grains from all over the world

He also said that any alternative products will have to be tested in the Irish climate as well.

Miller also hit out at the importation of grain from around the world into Ireland.

“Yet we have to stand back and allow imports of grains from all over the world, with different standards applied, arrive into the country to be fed to livestock.

“We, as tillage farmers, are being made fools of by the EU talking out of both sides of their mouth.

"The Irish grain quality assurance system is a joke when our Irish grain can be mixed with any sort of grain and waste in merchants' and millers' processing plants,” he said.

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