Phil Hogan to address Seanad on Brexit’s agricultural impact

Irish EU Commissioner expected to take questions from members of 60-strong chamber

Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan will address a special sitting of Seanad Éireann next Thursday. File photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan will address a special sitting of Seanad Éireann next Thursday. File photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

 

Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan will address a special sitting of Seanad Éireann next Thursday in a speech that is expected to feature the potential impact Brexit will have on Irish agriculture.

It will be the first time the former Fine Gael Minister for the Environment returns to address either of the two Houses of the Oireachtas since his appointment as Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Affairs in 2014.

The former TD for Carlow-Kilkenny will speak in the Upper House on Thursday morning and is expected to take questions from members of the 60-strong chamber.

His appearance will be second such special sitting of the House in the past year. Soon after his appointment as Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar also addressed the Seanad, where he set out his agenda. He also answered individual questions from the members.

Mr Hogan’s appearance is being facilitated by Fine Gael leader of the Seanad, Jerry Buttimer.

Earlier this month, Mr Hogan said a border in Ireland was inevitable if the UK left the customs union.

Speaking at an event in Dublin, Mr Hogan said the commitment to avoid a hard border, which was agreed in the first phase of talks between the EU and the UK, was welcome, but the really tough negotiations have yet to come.

“Phase one of the talks was like the national league, but the championship is just about to start. That will be the decider,” he said.