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Doyle Discusses Brexit and CAP with Finnish Minister for European Affairs

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Andrew Doyle T.D., today met with Finnish Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport, Mr. Sampo Terho, on the final day of his visit to Finland.  The talks focused on the current situation in relation to Brexit and the debate on the Common Agricultural Policy for the post-2020 period. The visit was part of a series by visits by Ministers Creed and Doyle to reaffirm Irish priorities on CAP and Brexit priorities including visits to Madrid, Paris, Berlin and The Hague.

Commenting first on their Brexit discussions, Minister Doyle said: “The Brexit negotiations are at a critical stage now at EU level and I was pleased to reaffirm Ireland’s key priorities to the Finnish Government. We discussed in particular the potential threats of Brexit for the Irish agri-food and forestry sectors given our exposure to the UK market. I thanked Minister Terho for Finland’s support to date in relation to the Ireland/Northern Ireland aspects of the withdrawal negotiations. We also had a very useful exchange on the current state of play in the negotiations, ahead of the June European Council.”  

Ministers Doyle and Terho also discussed the recently announced proposed cuts to the CAP Budget ceilings for the period 2021-2027.  Both Ministers acknowledged the joint Memorandum signed in Madrid on 31 May by 6 Member States, including Ireland and Finland, requesting that the CAP budget be increased to bring it back to current levels.  The Ministers also spoke about the budgetary pressures facing the EU as a result of the UK departing the EU.   Both Ministers spoke about the importance of the CAP and the need to ensure value for money and the delivery of public goods.  Minister Doyle said “We face into a new financial framework, without one of the largest net contributors to the European Union but equally “If new challenges are to be faced, and if more public goods are delivered then we cannot accept any further erosion of CAP supports.  We must stand together to protect a budget which has been diminishing over time, and which we need to preserve if we want to maximise the contribution of the agri-food sector to the economy of the European Union and to its social fabric”.

The Minister will also undertake a series of events today in Helsinki to promote Irish food and drink to the Finnish market.

Concluding, the Minister said “my visit to Finland this week has been extremely productive and wide-ranging, covering key developments on forestry and bioeconomy to furthering Irish-Finnish relations on the priorities facing the European Union. I would like to thank Ambassador Maeve Collins and her team at the Irish Embassy in Helsinki for her ongoing work on Ireland’s priorities in Finland and we will be following up soon on some of the key issues from this week.

Added 08.06.18

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, Andrew Doyle T.D., today met with Finnish Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport, Mr. Sampo Terho, on the final day of his visit to Finland.

ENDS

Date Released: 08 June 2018