Last Thursday, the deputy prime minister of Ireland said that the Irish government will offer the beef industry of the country “substantial amounts of money” and loosen state aid rules in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Simon Coveney informed the Irish parliament that his government was “more than aware of the threats to the [Irish] beef sector” that were posed by a no-deal scenario.
He said that the European Commission “has made it clear” that it will be supporting the beef sector of Ireland “to ensure that it survives and comes through a Brexit transition.”
Coveney noted: “If it comes to it, this government will not be found wanting to support and work with this sector, should a no-deal Brexit materialise.”
He continued: “That will involve significant amounts of money and a relaxation of state aid rules that allows us to support this sector.”
Hypothesising on what tariffs the United Kingdom might apply to goods after a no-deal Brexit, Coveney disclosed that the only thing that will possibly differentiate Irish beef from that of other countries was its quality.
He said that it is “not reassuring to Irish farmers.” Nearly 50 percent of Irish beef exports go to the United Kingdom and approximately 70 percent of the beef imports of the UK came from Ireland last year.
Some reports that were published in the Irish media have suggested that the UK is warning that it will favour Brazilian beef over Irish with the use of a system of quotas and tariffs, something that could result in low-priced beef flooding the market.
Currently, the tariffs of the World Trade Organisation are applied to Brazilian beef imports to the United Kingdom.
There has been an increasing appetite for Brazilian beef around the world, with exporters in the country anticipating China to drive the demand to a record high this year.