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Snippet Contents:

The IFA, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association, ICMSA, and all other farming bodies are concerned about our €2.5 billion beef deal with England. That is how much we depend on the British market. If we were to lose that, it would be disastrous for the whole of the country, especially the western counties, of which County Kerry is one. Cow numbers will collapse. The bodies are asking that, before Britain exits the EU, Ireland be allowed to continue supplying beef to Britain. If we are not and there is a hard Brexit and large tariffs, it will be disastrous for the entire farming community.
We watched and listened to Prime Minister May saying that progress had been made. We wondered what that progress was. I certainly did anyway on behalf of everyone whom we represent, especially the farming community, which is under significant pressure. Prices are dropping as we speak.
Not for many years have farmers faced a winter like this one. They have been feeding cows and other animals for the past two months. That will make for a long winter before the animals can be put out to grass again in the middle of April or early May. That is more than six months, so we must be aware that there will be a shortage of fodder. On top of this, people are concerned about whether we will retain our British market. The farming organisations are asking that the market be assured before the UK exits the EU.
I am sorry for going over time by a bit, but my colleagues took some of mine.