Tuesday, 5 February 2019
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
479. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the date on which a request was made to the European Commission in view of confirmation at an event (details supplied) that the European Commission has been alerted to the fact that Ireland will seek emergency aid for the farming sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit; if the request was also submitted to the Brexit preparedness group under the European Commission Taskforce on Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom; if the attention of the Commission was drawn to the alert; and the EU legislative provision under which the request was made. [5357/19]
502. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has formally made a request to the European Commission under Article 219 of (EU) Regulation No 1308/2013 (details supplied); and if so, when the application was made. [5356/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 479 and 502 together.
I and my officials have been working very hard for quite some time to sensitise other Member States and the European Commission to the potentially very severe impacts of Brexit on the Irish agrifood and fisheries sectors, and to the likelihood of specific supports being required in order to deal with these impacts. The institutions of the European Union are very well aware of the likelihood of a significant impact of a disorderly Brexit on Ireland’s economy because this has been part of the discussion from the beginning, and indeed this is explicitly recognised in the Commission’s own communication on contingency planning.
Most recently, I held a bilateral meeting with Commissioner Hogan last week to discuss the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit on the Irish agrifood and fisheries sectors. We discussed the unique exposure of these sectors to the threat of a disorderly Brexit, and the challenges that it could present. I stressed the need to be ready to deploy a range of measures to mitigate the potential impacts on farmers and processors, including through traditional market supports and exceptional aid under the CAP's Single Common Market Organisation regulation, and increased flexibility under State Aid regulations. Commissioner Hogan reiterated the EU’s readiness to respond and support Ireland, and we will remain in contact on these issues as the situation evolves.