September 15, 2020


Irish meat organisation pushes for government support in light of Brexit impact


Ireland has to create a Tariff Support Mechanism to protect farm exports given the adverse impact of Brexit, Meat Industry Ireland (MII) said.

MII director Cormac Healy has pushed for government support, claiming that Irish meat exports to the United Kingdom could be slapped with €920 million (US$1.1 billion) worth of tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Healy pointed out that Irish meat exports to the UK are worth in excess of €1.75 billion (US$2.1 billion) annually, but tariffs could push the final cost to UK importers to over €2.6 billion (US$3.1 billion).

"We need to seriously explore a Tariff Support Mechanism to keep Irish meat exports flowing to the UK and to keep our customers supplied, in the face of a tariff wall," he said.

"If large volumes of Irish meat, particularly beef, are displaced from the UK market, the consequences for the wider European market would be very negative."

Ireland's meat sector could also lose its UK customers due to Brexit, Healy added.

"In the absence of an agreement on the future EU-UK relationship, the single biggest challenge for the Irish meat export business will be the imposition of new UK import tariffs, which for some meat categories, will be a major impediment to trade," he explained.

"Beef, in particular, would face a tariff wall of some 72pc, amounting to some €725 million (US$863 million) annually," he highlighted.              

MII warned that the current proposals from the UK would see tariff reductions on meat imports from South America, Australia and the United States.

"If we don't act quickly and support our sector, we will risk losing our premium position in the UK market to cheaper imports from South America, Australia, USA, etc. that will also gain advantage from a lowering of their current tariff exposure," Healy said.

- Farming Independent