Statement from the Ulster Farmers’ Union on new Brexit deal proposals

Friday, 18 October, 2019

The Ulster Farmers’ Union is reviewing the Brexit proposal in considerable detail and discussing it internally through our policy structures. Our priority is to fully understand what it means for agriculture, the food industry and above all the future prosperity of family farm businesses in Northern Ireland.

For now, there are more questions than answers.  More clarity is needed about how this new deal would work. While the proposals appear to address concerns around regulations and tariffs, our initial assessment deemed the plans complex and bureaucratic. In particular, we need clarity and detail around Northern Ireland’s access to EU trade deals once the transition period ends. If we are excluded, this would have a significant impact on trade between NI and ROI. We also need more certainty around the details of NI’s unfettered access to the GB market. Our key objective from day one has been to secure trade that is as free and frictionless as possible east/west and north/south. A no-deal, however, remains the worst possible outcome for Northern Ireland’s family-run farm businesses and must be avoided.