Tipperary farmer and president of ICMSA Pat McCormack has said that the Brexit Agreement reached between the EU and UK has to be welcomed.
He said that the challenge now must to get this deal approved by the House of Commons and allow a new atmosphere of certainty and positivity to replace the negativity that has developed due partly to Brexit around Irish farming and food.
Mr McCormack said that after the population of the UK itself, the people most psychologically exhausted and worn down by the whole three year-long drama were Irish farmers who, he said, had it on their minds “first thing in the morning and last thing at night and have paid a very heavy price financially to date, particularly in the beef sector”.
“Whatever happens now – and we always have to remember that whatever comes out of this hoped-for agreement, it will categorically not be as smooth and seamless as the conditions we have now with the UK as a member state – we at least will have some idea of the business landscape we’ll be traversing and the agreement will being a level of certainty and stability,” he said.
The ICMSA president said that any certainty, any degree of predictability, was so welcome after these three years of daily confusion and anxiety.
“We must welcome it – albeit in the knowledge that there is no such thing as a ‘good Brexit’,” he said.
However, Mr McCormack said that ICMSA wsa convinced that we had to take what good was available and now go forward.
“We have to take the relief and certainty and, insofar as it’s possible, we have to use it to re-energise our sector and bring some focus to the questions that, perhaps understandably, we have parked for the last three years. Hopefully, this deal will be approved by the House of Commons, and, if approved, then it will be time to get back to our business and start working again in the knowledge that the worst has been averted,” said Mr McCormack.