Post-Brexit trade deal with UK will define border, according to IFA president Joe Healy

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Post-Brexit trade deal with UK will define border, according to IFA president Joe Healy

IFA president Joe Healy

The nature of the border we have with Northern Ireland will be dependent on the future trading relationship between the EU and the UK, according to IFA president Joe Healy.

“We cannot have certainty as regards the nature of a future border without the trade aspects being resolved,” he told the Institute of International & European Affairs in Dublin.

“The most straightforward solution to keeping the current border arrangements, and to minimise the disruption to trade, is for the UK to remain within the EU’s Customs Union,” he said.

Mr Healy said that Ireland should place keeping the UK in the Customs Union, or reaching agreement on a trading arrangement that would have similar effect, as the top priority in the talks.

While issues relating to the political circumstances in Northern Ireland were important, it was critical that trade issues were a top priority for the Government as our agri-food sector was the most exposed to Brexit, said Mr Healy.

The forum was also addressed by the chief executive of the Ulster Farmers Union, Wesley Aston.