Donegal IFA chief 'hopeful but cautious' on Brexit after conference

UK elections major factor on Brexit future

By Eamonn McFadden

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By Eamonn McFadden

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eamonn.mcfadden@donegaldemocrat.com

Donegal IFA chief 'hopeful but cautious' on Brexit after conference

Some of the Donegal contingent at the conference in Goff's Co. Kildare on Monday. Some of the Donegal contingent at the conference in Goff's Co. Kildare on Monday.

The impact of Brexit on the agricultural sector will mean the same of all Irish farmers from “Burt to west Cork” according to the chairman of the Donegal IFA.
Chairman of the Donegal branch, Michael Chance, travelled to Goff in Co. Kildare on Monday, along with a bus load of branch members to take part in a major conference for the agricultural sector on the possible impact of Brexit.
He said he is still highly cautious of the pending move by the UK to leave the European Union but he is also more “hopeful” after the event.
He said much of how the Brexit process unfolds depends on the forthcoming UK elections and who will appointed to the next Government Cabinet table.
He said they would be hoping that after the election there would be new ministerial appointments to the Government with views moving away from a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“It is going to be interesting times and it is going to be long and drawn out. It is going to take, I suspect, five to ten years. You don’t just do trade deals in a year or two. You would just hope they would pull back from the brink. The general impression from the first session at the conference was that they were going to see sense. The people in the evening session were a little more cautious,” he stated.
Border
He said some of the local branch members did ask questions in relation to the border areas but he added that the largely the issues of concern affected all Irish farmers.
“We are more aware of the border area but the reality is that doesn’t matter whether you are in Burt or west Cork, at the end of the day the effects are the same,” he added.
Among the speakers at the event were EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed and IFA President Joe Healy.
The conference was streamed live.