Carthy Appointed EP Negotiator on Brexit Trade File
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has been appointed as lead Rapporteur for a key Brexit file in the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
Following Brexit, the EU and Britain will have to agree on the division of concessions they have approved with third countries. In practical terms this will mean dividing up the amount of agri-produce third countries currently import to the EU. The divisions should reflect the usage share of Britain for each product.
Speaking following his appointment, Matt Carthy said:
“The EU currently has an agreement to accept almost 230,000 tonnes of sheep meat from New Zealand at a fixed tariff. Although the agreement to accept this meat is between the EU and New Zealand, the vast majority of this fixed annual tonnage currently goes to British markets.
“Now that Britain has decided to leave the European Union, this, and hundreds of other Tariff Rate Quotas will have to be divided between them and remaining EU Member States.
“Getting the mix right here is crucial. If this, and other, Tarrif Rate Quotas (TRQs) are not divided up based on the actual amount being taken by Britain versus other EU Member States, then there will be a huge displacement of domestic products. In a worst-case scenario, domestic markets would be flooded with products that normally would have gone to Britain.
“As the lead Rapporteur for AGRI on this file, I will be working with MEPs from the International Trade and Fisheries Committees to ensure that this worst case scenario is avoided.
“It is no secret that the British Government is seeking to entice future trading partners to ensure they don’t lose access to key markets from the moment they exit the EU. The re-apportioning of TRQs should not be exploited by the British for this purpose.
“It is vital that negotiating parties continue to respect the current Brexit negotiating order of priorities. This means first dealing with citizens’ rights and finding a solution to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“Given the fast looming date for withdrawal and the fact that we are now just one year from the European elections, we are dealing with a much more contracted period to negotiate these TRQs than we would have thought. However, I am committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for Irish farmers across the island of Ireland”.