Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Monday, 14 June 2021
Seanad Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union
Impact of Brexit on the Food and Drink Industry: Discussion
I thank and welcome our guests. I also welcome the very firm commitment to the protocol that they have expressed. I am not entirely surprised by that. I acknowledge that the protocol is by no means perfect, but I think all present can agree it was certainly the least worst option for a range of sectors for a range of reasons. I listened to our guests with interest because I am by no means an expert in this sector and, as such, have found it particularly useful to listen to the representatives of the various sectors that have appeared before us. I am not sure I would refer to these issues as anomalies posed by Brexit. Rather, I would refer to them as further negatives delivered as a result of Brexit. For me, what we are hearing today exposes the folly, danger and consequences of Brexit, but it also starkly exposes the folly of having two different jurisdictions on the island. That is an important point.
Our guests referenced the engagement with the Government and the need for it to take a firmer position with the EU institutions. Have the various sectors had any engagement themselves with the EU institutions through the various committees that exist there?
Mr. Mulvihill made a point regarding the product of Ireland brand. I assume that he is referring to items coming from across the entire island, including items that might originate in the North and be bottled or mixed in the South. Is it his opinion that items from anywhere in the Thirty-two Counties should have the right to avail of and use that brand on a global stage? I ask him to address that issue further.