Brexit is a disruption to trade in Europe, and especially in Ireland. I want to assure farmers that EU resolve will not buckle: solidarity behind Ireland remains rock solid, steadfast and unwavering. The European Commission has a strong toolbox of support measures ready to go.
Commissioner Phil Hogan
On Brexit, Commissioner Hogan said "There has been so much noise and nonsense coming out of Westminster in the last few weeks – it would be virtually impossible for a busy working family to follow all the developments. So I hope you will allow me to cut through the noise and nonsense and get down to the heart of the matter."
He added "We need stay calm and not react to the UK's tariff statement published during the week. This was a political stunt, pure and simple, designed to change the news cycle in the UK and weaken the unity of the EU 27 in relation to the Irish backstop".
He announced: "Today DG Agriculture will launch an online portal to highlight in detail all the work that has gone into Brexit preparedness. This will be a very useful port of call for farmers and agri-food operators who want to find out more about the EU supports available".
Commission Hogan underlined: "The Commission's historical commitment is that "no individual Member State will suffer disproportionately" in a time of crisis and that certainly applies to Ireland today".
On global markets, he said "the EU has made huge progress in recent years. Our trade profile has helped the EU move from a negative agri-trade position to a €19 billion surplus, just in the past few years".
On Japan, the Commissioner said; "Take the EU-Japan agreement which entered into force on the 1st of February. This is the most successful agreement ever achieved in EU agri-trade, providing huge opportunities for agricultural exporters. It encompasses the biggest concession Japan has ever granted on agriculture to any trade partner. Deals like this one are a direct result of the agri-trade diplomacy that I started in 2015. These benefits can lead to growth and jobs in our rural areas. That is the key message I want to be understood".