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Creed calls for Swift Action to Support Farmers and Fishermen in the event of a Hard Brexit and Strong Action to Restore the CAP Budget

Agrifish Council 14 – 15 October 2019

Speaking at today’s Agrifish Council in Luxembourg, Minister Creed welcomed the solidarity shown by Member States and the EU Institutions regarding Brexit.  Highlighting the need for a swift response to help farmers in the event of a hard Brexit Minister Creed declared “I call on the Commission to be ready to deploy an exceptional aid regulation immediately in the event of a hard Brexit”.

Noting the strong support shown by Member States and the EU institutions Minister Creed said, “I welcome the Commission’s commitment to make available the full spectrum of existing instruments for market supports and direct financial support to farmers.” 

Today’s Agrifish Council also considered critical aspects regarding the ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.  Minister Creed highlighted the key issue of the CAP budget.  In a joint statement with seventeen Member States Minister Creed called for the CAP budget to be maintained to meet the challenges faced by European Agriculture.  “We must restore the CAP budget and reverse the cuts” declared Minister Creed.

During the Council Minister Creed had constructive discussions with Commissioner Hogan and Commissioner Vella regarding support measures in the event of a hard Brexit and the protection of Irish farming and fishery interests in EU trade negotiations.         

With regard to fisheries, Minister Creed took the opportunity to discuss with fellow Fisheries Ministers the ongoing Brexit preparatory work by the eight EU Member States most likely to be impacted.

Minister Creed said “There has been a significant amount of preparatory work done at official and industry level across the Member States and in cooperation with the Commission for all scenarios.  The unity of purpose from our EU partners on fisheries, like all other issues, has been heartening.” 

Separately, Ireland is also raising at this Council the recent decision by Iceland and others to increase their unilateral quotas for mackerel, which threatens the long-term sustainability of Ireland’s single most important fishery. Minister Creed said that “The recent unilateral actions by Iceland, and later Russia and Greenland, are extremely regrettable and I will continue to work closely with the Commission on possible measures that can be taken in this regard.

 

 

 

ENDS

Date Released: 14 October 2019