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 the committee for accommodating me today. I raised in the Seanad when we were discussing Brexit the issue of the impact on the food and drink sector. The whiskey and dairy whiskey industries are exemplars of all-island co-operation. I very much hope we can resolve the issue.
We have spoken about the protocol. It is great to hear at first hand from the representatives of the industry that they are largely positive in respect of the protocol. It does need to be tweaked, but generally they are supportive of it. When the representatives talk about all-island co-operation and the fact there are economic savings to be made with different parts of the supply chain being delivered by different parts of Ireland, that is a positive we want to protect.
I have heard the witnesses talk about the future of free trade agreements and championing rules of origin. On the issue of labelling, how do we champion island of Ireland products going forward? I ask the witnesses to delve into the consequences of Brexit. Mr. Lavelle referred to tariffs. Perhaps the witnesses could speak more on the consequences, both in the short and long term, of these issues not being resolved.