It is inevitable that there will be border controls between the North and the south of Ireland should the UK vote to leave the EU, according to Philip Carroll, Chairman of Meat Industry Ireland (MII).

Carroll was speaking at a recent talk on Brexit and its implications for farming in Ireland which was hosted by the IFA, at Buswells Hotel in Dublin.

Also speaking on the day was ICOS Agri and Food Policy Executive Eamonn Farrell, who said that should there be a UK vote to leave, we would have to be mindful that the border between North and south “would then be a border between the EU and the UK”.

In his opening address to the talk, IFA President Joe Healy said “with a shared land border between Ireland and the UK, the risks to the health of the animal population would increase, if over time, different regulatory regimes were pursued between Ireland and the UK.”

Meanwhile speaking on Brexit in the Dail this week, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said that "there is absolutely no upside for this economy of a Brexit”.

Creed commented that a lot of milk is gathered in Northern Ireland to be brought south of the border for processing. “Given that this milk would now be crossing the border between the UK and the EU, were Brexit to take place, issues would arise regarding border controls and so on.”

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On June 23, Britain will decide whether to remain with or leave the EU which will possibly have implications for Ireland’s agri-food sector.

The UK is one of Ireland’s most important trading partners. In 2015, Bord Bia figures show that 30% of Ireland’s dairy exports went to the UK which is equivalent to roughly €1 billion.

On the beef front, 52% of our total exports went in the UKs direction, which Bord Bia valued at €1.1 billion.