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Irish Farmers’ Association issues stark Brexit warning

IFA President Tim Cullinan said everyone in Ireland is likely to suffer in the aftermath of the UK leaving the EU.

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Ships in dock at Dublin Port (James Ward/PA)

Ships in dock at Dublin Port (James Ward/PA)

Ships in dock at Dublin Port (James Ward/PA)

Everyone in Ireland will suffer following Brexit as the European Union adjusts to the UK’s departure, an Irish parliamentary committee has heard.

Irish Farmers’ Association president Tim Cullinan said Ireland is a small nation on the periphery of Europe that will be most affected by Brexit.

He urged that a deal is agreed between the UK and EU to allow trade across the UK and Ireland to continue following the end of the transition period.

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IFA President Tim Cullinan. (Oireachtas/PA)

IFA President Tim Cullinan. (Oireachtas/PA)

IFA President Tim Cullinan. (Oireachtas/PA)

Mr Cullinan said all sectors in agriculture will be “seriously affected”, mushrooms and beef most critically.

“But it’s not just farmers that are going to suffer, every citizen in this country is going to suffer because of this because once there are restrictions on product coming into this country, it’s only going to do one thing and if any product is scarce we all know what will happen – it’s going to cost more,” he told the  Oireachtas Agriculture Committee.

“The government is going to have to put their hand in their pocket and co-fund money we are getting from Europe because we’re talking billions, £1.5 billion for agriculture alone per year, that is what this is going to cost.”

News emerged on Tuesday that the UK and EU reached agreement on how to implement aspects of Brexit involving borders and trade.

The agreement covers issues like border checks on animal and plant products, and deliveries of chilled meats and other food products to supermarkets.

Mr Cullinan emphasised the importance of a deal being secured.

He concluded his submission to the committee, saying: “Obviously we want to see a deal, we are very concerned where we are at and if we don’t get a deal, funding is going to be absolutely critical for this sector going forward.”

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