11 OCTOBER 2019
ICSA president Edmond Phelan has said that while the more positive vibes on Brexit following the meeting of Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson are welcome in terms of the border, there are still worries about the future trading relationship between Ireland and the UK.
“Any scenario where Northern Ireland effectively stays in the EU Customs zone solves the border problem because checks won’t be necessary for North/South trade. However, the implication seems to be that Great Britain excluding Northern Ireland will be outside the customs union. This means that there is still a considerable uncertainty about whether there will be tariffs on Irish beef exports to Britain or alternatively that there could be massive imports of tariff free beef from South America to the British market.”
“On a more positive note, the immediate threat of no-deal Brexit seems to have been averted and moreover, there is potential, at the very least, for the implementation of a transition phase of two years or more so that the beef market can be stabilised in the short term.”
“Beef farmers will want to see this turn into increased prices for cattle given that a pound sterling has already improved by 3 cents since the Varadkar/Johnson meeting and there is a better prospect of sterling stabilising or improving further relative to the euro in the short to medium term. A 3% increase in the value of sterling should equate to a 10 cent per kg increase in beef price.”