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Walsh decoupling move must be followed by all-Ireland negotiations

19 October, 2003


Sinn Fein Agriculture Spokespersons, North Kerry TD Martin Ferris and Fermanagh South Tyrone representative Cllr Gerry McHugh have welcomed the decision by 26 County Agriculture Minister Joe Walsh to back full decoupling but added that this decision must be followed by negotiations at the earliest opportunity to ensure that decoupling is introduced within a single all-Ireland framework.

In a joint statement Martin Ferris TD and Cllr Gerry McHugh said:

"Sinn Féin have led the way in Ireland in arguing that full decoupling is probably the best way to provide a future for Irish farming in the context of major CAP reform.

"We therefore welcome the decision by 26 County Agriculture Minister Joe Walsh to back full decoupling but this decision must be followed by negotiations at the earliest opportunity to ensure that it is implemented within a single all-Ireland framework.

"The introduction of full decoupling must also herald a major shift away from the red tape and paper work that has created so many problem for the framing community.

"Any failure to develop the single all-Ireland framework for decoupling could prove to be very damaging. The artificial border can no longer be used to create winners and losers within the farming community.

"Sinn Féin is calling for immediate talks between the two ministers and the inclusion of all the all-Ireland stakeholders within the farming community on the island of Ireland." ENDS

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