Doherty slams UUP/Tory approach to CAP Reform
Sinn Féin Spokesperson, Pat Doherty MP, MLA, Parliamentary Under Secretary to the Agriculture Minister has accused the Ulster Unionist Party of continuing its subservient alignment to the English Tory Policy on CAP reform rather than act in the best interests of farmers here. Pat Doherty said: "Once more the Ulster Unionists subservient adherence to Tory Party policy takes precedence over the best interests of our Agriculture industry. The UUP is suggesting that we align ourselves with the Tory Government's policy on CAP reform, which wants to see the phasing out of the Single Farm Payment (SFP) altogether. This would spell disaster for the farmers of the north, many of whom, without the financial support coming from the SFP simply would not survive. The British government's approach to negotiations on CAP Reform is as with all of its other economic policies, designed to benefit those on the island of Britain. The interests of the people in the North of Ireland whether it be farmers or any other sector are peripheral and do not factor into its planning. "Fortunately the British overnment's approach to CAP reform is finding little favour with most other European member states and could find itself isolated in these negotiations. "Michelle O Neill is taking the right approach in building allies with the South and elsewhere who have the same policy approach to us on CAP reform. The fact that the Irish government, may have the Presidency of the EU at a key point in the negotiations process means that it could be in a very strong position to influence the negotiations outcomes. "Minister O Neill should continue working with her Southern counterpart, Simon Coveney TD and all 15 of our MEPs to achieve the best possible outcome for our agricultural sector. To follow the path suggested by the Ulster Unionists and align herself with Tory anti EU policiies would see the ruination of Irish farming - North and South.
"To compound the approach of the UUP and the Tories, the British Government's intention is to drastically cut the Agriculture budget which would further erode the already dwindling funds reaching our farmers and rural areas.