Deputy Michael Lowry, along with his fellow Regional Group colleagues, has called on the Government to review a decision not to include the sheep farming sector as part of a Brexit compensation fund called the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR).
The Dáil grouping says the evidence that sheep farming was affected by Brexit is strong and the decision not to support people in this sector needs to be reversed immediately.
The damaging impact on the sector began as far back as 2016 according to Deputy Lowry as it caused uncertainty in the sheep trade and weakened the currency, making UK lamb far more competitive. The possibility of a “No Deal Brexit” caused the price of sheep to fluctuate repeatedly in the trade, resulting in lambs selling for an estimated €30-€50 lower per lamb each year during the entire Brexit process.
Ireland, as the Member State most affected, has received a significant allocation of over €1 billion, or just over 20% of the entire Reserve. To date the government has allocated some of the funds to 9 different Departments to support areas impacted negatively by the UK decision to leave the EU – the Department of Agriculture has received €271M to date – a major portion of the funding will be allocated to the Fishing Industry.