The president of the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA), Tim Cullinan, and the president of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) Minette Batters, held a remote meeting this afternoon (Friday December 18) to discuss the latest developments in the Brexit talks.

The two farm leaders have remained in regular contact during the Brexit negotiations, given the significance of the talks for farmers and the wider agri-food industry.

Following the meeting, the two farm leaders set out the key principles that farmers want to see as part of a deal.

The IFA and NFU have re-affirmed the importance of avoiding a ‘no-deal’ scenario and appealed to both sets of negotiators to remain steadfast in pursuit of an agreement for arrangements on January 1.

'World class standards'

Minette Batters and Tim Cullinan re-stated their firm commitment to the adherence to "world class standards that underpin food production in the UK and Ireland", and insisted that any future deal guarantees full recognition of these standards.

The two organisations also spoke about trade on the island of Ireland, and how that trade will flow both from east to west and west to east between Ireland and the UK.

Every effort must be made to safeguard trade in agri-food goods, which plays a crucial role in the prosperity of rural communities.

The IFA and the NFU re-affirmed their commitment to working together for the benefit of Irish and British farmers.