BREXIT: ‘Prepare for the worst’ – EU Commissioner Phil Hogan warns local businesses and farmers
EU COMMISSIONER Phil Hogan has urged local businesses and farmers to be “prepared for the worst-case scenario” when it comes to Brexit.
The former Kilkenny TD told delegates at the European Dairy Association’s Annual Convention that Ireland is one of the most exposed countries to the consequences of Brexit.
“The risk of a no deal Brexit is still substantial, and there is no point pretending otherwise. I have been a strong and consistent advocate for Ireland to be fully prepared for all possible outcomes, particularly the worst case scenario,” he said.
“No country has as much exposure to Brexit as Ireland, and our agri-food sector is particularly at risk.”
Commissioner Hogan pointed out that 98pc of UK dairy imports come from EU countries and that 10,500 lorries pass through the port of Dover every day. In a no-deal scenario, he said that a seven-minute additional waiting period for inspections would add 10 hours of delays and additional cost of €111 per container.
“The channel tunnel carries 27pc of French products by value into the UK, and 42pc of French imports back from the UK,” he added.
“The simple reality is that free and frictionless trade will require the UK to retain a high degree of convergence with EU rules. A full 70pc of UK agri-food imports came from the EU in 2017.
“I hope that these very stark statistics help to clarify minds in London. The rubber is finally hitting the runway this week, and reality is starting to bite, let’s hope that reality starts to bite in London.”