Ireland Must Remain At Centre Of Negotiations In Europe – IFA

Addressing the Oireachtas sub-Committee on the Fiscal Treaty Referendum
this morning (Thurs), IFA President John Bryan said any withdrawal by
Ireland from a central role in Europe would have negative consequences in
the short-term and potentially lead to Ireland’s isolation in the longer

Mr Bryan said, ““Following consideration of all the issues earlier this
week, the members of the IFA Executive Council decided unanimously it is in
the best interests of Irish families, the business community, including
agri-food, exports and jobs to vote Yes on May 31st.”

John Bryan said, “Within the next 12 to 18 months, it is expected the
latest reform of the CAP will be agreed. It is critical for Irish
agriculture and the Irish economy that a strong, fully-funded CAP is
negotiated, which maintains our existing funding envelope and provides
flexibility to direct support towards active farmers in order to underpin
agricultural production and sustain the 300,000 jobs dependent on the

The IFA President said the decisions on the CAP will be made in the Council
of Ministers and the European Parliament. “Influence and goodwill in Europe
are necessary conditions to ensure the best outcome in these crucial

Earlier this week, the IFA Executive Council unanimously recommended a Yes
vote to the farming community. John Bryan said the Treaty must be taken on
its own merits. He said, “Farm families face serious challenges, such as
the loss of off-farm jobs and rising costs, in addition to the impact of
cuts in public expenditure and increased taxation.”

“However, IFA is firmly of the view that these and other issues must remain
separate from the debate in the upcoming Referendum. IFA supports the
Government’s position that the way forward for the euro must also include a
sustainable path for recovery and growth, both in Ireland and in Europe. A
key element for growth will be securing a strong, fully-funded CAP after
2013, which will underpin agricultural production and economic activity in
Ireland and across the EU.”

Mr Bryan said IFA would be holding regional meetings in the coming weeks.
He said, “These will provide an opportunity for the Association’s 4,000
branch officers and leaders to inform themselves about the Fiscal Treaty.
The Association will embark on an active campaign and work to inform our
membership of almost 90,000 why a Yes vote is in their best interests.

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