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Sinn Fein back All Ireland approach to Nitrates

24 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson Gerry McHugh has welcomed the exploratory talks between the UFU and IFU on developing a common way forward on the introduction of EU directives on Nitrates.

Mr McHugh said:

"Sinn Fein have been at the forefront in arguing for a common way forward on agricultural issues across Ireland. There needs to be a strong single voice for farming and fishing communities on this island, especially in Europe. This is one of the reasons that it is so exciting and important that Sinn Féin will be able to offer representation from across Ireland after the EU election in the heart of Europe.

"Sinn Féin believe that should be a reassessment of the application of the Nitrates Directive in light of evidence that nitrate levels in Ireland are currently within the 50 mg limit for the water supply and ground water.

"These exploratory talks between the IFU and UFU show that there is growing acknowledgement of the importance of adopting a common agenda in the key issues facing our farming and fishing industries.

"I particularly welcome the recognition from the UFU that an All Ireland approach to Europe can represent the best way of challenging and influencing the way that EU directives are implemented, and CAP and CFP reform in order to deliver a better future for all of our Irish agriculture and fishing industries.

"There are many key decisions to be taken in the coming months that will impact on the long-term viability of Irish farming, not least the Nitrates directives and the Phosphates issues next year, but also on CAP reform and the impact of enlargement and the global market where it will be vital that our interests are represented with a single strong voice within Europe."ENDS


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