ICSA president Patrick Kent has told the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Andrea Leadsom that the fortunes of UK and Irish farmers are intrinsically linked.
Speaking following a meeting that took place in the House of Commons last week, Mr Kent said the agriculture ties between the two countries were so deeply rooted, it was blatantly clear they should be recognised as vital and protected as such.
“This,” he added, “was acknowledged by Secretary Leadsom and there needs to be trade talks running parallel with the Brexit negotiations.
“It is simply too late to start negotiating a trade deal between the UK and Europe only after Brexit negotiations have concluded.”
The organisation’s president went on to say that it was crucial to keep Irish farming interests “front and centre” at all stages of the Brexit negotiations, both from an EU and a UK perspective.
“ICSA is making the case in Brussels and we have had the opportunity to make that case directly to Westminster,” he concluded.
“Ms Leadsom urged ICSA to keep pressure on the EU so that the unique links between our two countries can continue.”