Tipperary farming: Ireland on 'precipice of disaster' as Brexit talks reach impasse
ICSA president Edmond Phelan has said he is alarmed at the current impasse on Brexit but remains hopeful that common sense will eventually prevail.
Reacting to the statement by EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in which she said that the position of the EU and UK remain far apart, Mr Phelan said that Ireland was "on the precipice of disaster", but so was the rest of the EU and the UK.
“It would be a complete failure of diplomacy and statecraft to allow no deal at this point,” he said.
Mr Phelan said that the beef sector cannot endure another calamity just at a point when there had been some improvement in the outlook.
The €5bn Brexit EU fund will be totally inadequate if there was no deal. Ireland cannot find another market for 270,000 tons of beef in the near future and the consequences will be catastrophic not just for farmers but for all of rural Ireland, he said.
“It would be particularly outrageous given that progress has been made on a lot of issues. Obviously the issue of a level playing field on product standards is tricky but surely both sides are committed to quality food?" said Mr Phelan.
The ICSA president said that the Taoiseach must use every opportunity at this week's two-day EU summit to emphasise the disaster facing us all.
"It is also time for him to make it clear that the €5bn EU Brexit fund will have to be increased by multiples if no deal is done,” said Mr Phelan.