Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, will avail of his St Patrick's Day duties to further extend his engagement with key EU Member States on Brexit over the coming days.
Coming on top of recent formal meetings with his Spanish, Estonian and Maltese counterparts, the Minister will meet his colleagues from Germany, Netherlands and Denmark to discuss common concerns about the likely impact of Brexit on the agri-food and fisheries sectors.
Speaking at the conclusion of his Saint Patrick's Day visit to Germany and ahead of a bilateral with German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt, Minister Creed said, "I look forward to using these bilateral meetings to emphasise the very real and serious concerns that we in Ireland have about the potential impact of Brexit on our agri-food and fisheries sectors, and to explore other Member States' assessment of the implications from their perspective.
"One thing that I believe we all have in common is that we face a very negative impact on trade. While Ireland is particularly exposed in this regard, because of the scale of our engagement with the UK market, these Member States also have a significant trading relationship with the UK. I intend therefore to explore the scope for a common approach in this area, with a view to ensuring that the interests of the agri-food sector are placed at the top of the European agenda in the negotiations."
Minister Creed also highlighted the many common concerns shared with these Member States in the fisheries area. He said: "We are confronted with potentially very grave challenges on fisheries, primarily in relation to continued access to UK waters, where much of our fishing effort is undertaken. Again, these concerns are shared by countries such as Germany, Netherlands and Denmark. I hope to discuss them in some detail, with a view to building a common platform as we seek to protect the interests of our fishing industries and communities."
Concluding, the Minister looked forward to what he hoped would be productive discussions on what will be a shared challenge for the European agriculture and fisheries sectors.