Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Michael Creed TD, this morning (Thursday) met with his French counterpart, Stephane Travert, in Paris. This is the fifth in a series of bilateral meetings being conducted by the Minister with EU counterparts on the implications of Brexit for the agri-food and fisheries sectors and the future of the Common Agricultural Policy, and follows on from his meeting yesterday [Wednesday] in Berlin with the German Minister for Food and Agriculture, as well as recent meetings with his Dutch, Danish and Austrian counterparts.
Commenting on this morning’s meeting, Minister Creed said; “I was delighted to have the opportunity to further deepen my relationship with Minister Travert, and to update him on the current position on Brexit from an Irish perspective. It was also helpful to listen to the concerns of the French Government in relation to Brexit and to add to our understanding of the level of preparedness amongst EU colleagues. This will be reinforced through further practical cooperation at official level on technical issues over the coming period.”
The Minister added; “France, similar to Ireland, has a significant agri-food exposure to the UK market and therefore shares many of the same concerns. It is also, like Ireland, fully supportive of the EU approach to Fisheries in the Brexit negotiations.”
The Ministers also exchanged views on the European Commission’s proposals in relation to the Multiannual Financial Framework for the post-2020 period, and expressed concerns on the potential impacts of some of the proposals around the budget of the Common Agricultural Policy post-2020 contained in the MFF.
Minister Creed continued; “as significant producers and exporters of food products, Ireland and France have traditionally adopted similar positions when it comes to the importance of the CAP and, in turn, its funding. This continues to be the case, and today we discussed our shared determination to ensure a properly resourced CAP in order to deliver on environmental and climate change objectives whilst also supporting the challenges facing farmers in terms of low incomes, market price volatility, competitiveness and generational renewal.”
The Ministers also had a brief exchange on the current position in relation to EU trade negotiations with various partners, and their potential impact on the EU agriculture sector. On this, as on the other issues discussed, there was agreement on the need to work together to ensure that the interests of the European agri-food sector are protected.
Minister Creed also extended an invitation to Minister Travert to visit Ireland and see first-hand the potential implications of Brexit on the agri-food and fisheries sector.