Speaking after their meeting the Minister said: “This was a timely meeting in the context of the current debate in the UK on the direction of travel in the Brexit negotiations. I reiterated our concerns to Secretary of State Gove around the pace of the negotiations, especially on border issues. I also took the opportunity to raise the tripartite agreement for Horse Racing between Ireland the UK and France and the need to maintain Fisheries as part of an overall Trade Agreement post Brexit”.
Earlier that morning the Minister delivered a keynote address to the UK Food and Drinks Federation (FDF) Conference 'Shaping the Future of Food and Drink'. He outlined the progress the Irish agri food sector had made in building its global profile, and emphasised that recent successes in China and elsewhere had been achieved, in part, as a result of Ireland’s membership of the European Union.
He also called upon the UK Food and Drinks Federation to exercise its influence in the Brexit debate. Addressing delegates at the conference the Minister said, ”I want to challenge the members of the Food and Drinks Federation today. You are the torchbearers for the proud traditions of the great British Food and Drinks Industry. Make your voices heard in this debate”.
Concluding, the Minister said: “There are serious issues at stake in the Brexit negotiations. It will be farmers, businesses and consumers in Ireland, UK and the EU who bear the brunt of a bad outcome. We need realistic and complete solutions to the challenges that face us, and we need them very soon. I hope that negotiators can make progress this week”.
The full text of the Minister speech can be found here.