Farmers expresses fears for farming and food amid latest Brexit report

Modesto Morganelli
Febbraio 15, 2018

An independent study carried out by Copenhagen Economics for the Government paints a bleak picture where, even in a best-case scenario, Irish GDP will be 2.8% lower compared with an alternative situation in which, by 2030, the United Kingdom had not left the EU.

He said the retention of free trade in agriculture and food products between the European Union and United Kingdom must be a priority.

A World Trade Organisation, or no-deal scenario, would have the most impact gradually reducing GDP growth by 7% by 2030.

These difficulties, combined with extensive uncertainties about the Brexit end-state and the process to get there, are leaving most interviewees increasingly anxious about the impact of Brexit on their businesses.

It identified four scenarios, and in the worst outcome the Irish economy would grow by 7pc less than it would have without the United Kingdom withdrawing from the EU. They are agri-food, pharma-chemicals, electrical machinery, wholesale and retail, and air transport.

Agri-food, including beef and dairy, are where "the largest impacts occur" although other primary agriculture sub-sectors such as grains, fruit and vegetables, forestry and fishing will also be negatively affected. "Measured relative to Irish GDP in 2015, the difference between the "best" (EEA) scenario and the "worst" (WTO) is €11 billion per year in 2015-level".

The rise of non-tariff barriers, specifically due to regulatory divergence, is the main factor driving the results. Ireland is the only member of the European Union with whom the United Kingdom shares a land border, a border that was not so long ago one of the most unstable in Europe.

It acknowledges that government intervention - through measures such as trade promotion policies - could mitigate the damage to the economy.

The full Ireland and the Impacts of Brexit can be read here.

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