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Sinn Féin make case for full decoupling and support for Euro in any future referendum

8 October, 2003

Sinn Féin's Six County EU candidate, former Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety Bairbre de Brún speaking after the Rural Stakeholder Conference in Loughry College has said Sinn Féin back full decoupling and pledged Sinn Féin's support for the Euro in any future referendum in the north.

Speaking after attending the conference along with Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesman, Fermanagh South Tyrone representative Cllr Gerry McHugh, Bairbre de Brún said:

"Sinn Féin‚s position is clear, we fully supporting full decoupling. However, it is the way in which this decoupled payment is made that is crucial. The payment must be made to the user of the land and all entitlements should be paid upon an equitable basis. All modulated money must be match funded by the member state.

"Any decision by the six county administration on how the CAP should be managed or delivered must be made on the same basis as that in the South. One part of this island cannot continue to implement what is the only common policy throughout Europe on a different basis. The island must go forward with a common approach and not allow an artificial border to create winners and losers. It is imperative that both Minister Pearson and Minister Walsh be meeting in the urgently to progress to discuss a strategy for 'common implementation'.

"Sinn Féin has long argued for an All Ireland agricultural policy. British policy is damaging to Irish agriculture. Farming and Rural dwellers in all parts of Ireland share the same economic and social problems.

"The necessary all island approach is being further damaged by the existence of two different monetary systems on the island. Sinn Féin is opposed to the controls set out by the European Central Bank (ECB). However we recognise that one single currency operating in Ireland would give transparency and improve the competitiveness of farming. While the North continues to be tied to the London treasury and the South now tied to the ECB, the economic differences are being allowed to exacerbate.

"In any future referendum Sinn Féin will support the adoption of the Euro in the Six counties. This would not involve a loss of democratic control, given that there is currently no control over the Bank of England." ENDS

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