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Supply Chain

Irish Brexit Forum Hears Bilateral Trade Agreements Are 'Highly Unlikely'

A forum established to assess the impact of the forthcoming Brexit on the Irish agri-food sector, which took place in Kilkenny on Friday, has heard that the heard that the negotiation of any bilateral trade agreements are highly unlikely in the wake of the UK leaving the EU.

The conference was organised by the Agricultural Science Association (ASA), and featured a panel discussion with contributions from John Moloney, Chair, Food Wise 2025, Lucinda Creighton from the EU Advisory Company Vulcan Consulting, Jim Power, Economist and Joe Healy, IFA President.

Turbulent Environment

Speaking at the event, former politician Creighton noted that 'Brexit is further complicated by an increasingly turbulent EU political environment with upcoming elections in France and Germany and that Ireland lacked a coordinated message to the EU.'

“The feedback I get from Europe is that Ireland is more active than any other country, that we have lobby groups going over from all sectors but they are getting different messages from everybody and they don’t know what Ireland wants and what our end game is," she said.

"It is still totally unclear as to what we as a country are proposing and this needs to be defined and communicated as a matter of urgency.”

Elsewhere, economist Jim Power strongly agreed with Creighton that 'any talk of a bilateral trade agreement would not be entertained by the EU', describing such a concept as 'fantasy'.

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