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Sinn Féin welcome DUP recognition of damage done by British fishing policy

2 September, 2004

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture and Fishing, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has welcomed the acceptance by DUP MEP Jim Allister that British government policy is damaging our fishing industry, and said that it was time that the DUP woke up to the reality that being tied to 'UK' fishing and agricultural policy was damaging our local industries.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Sinn Féin have been arguing for some time that our best interest are served in putting forward a united voice All Ireland in Europe, particularly on fishing and agriculture. Being tied to 'UK' fishing and agriculture has damaged these industries in the Six Counties.

"In recent months both the UFU and IFU have recognised the potential of working together to challenge the way that the EU directive on nitrates is being implemented. We have also consistently argued that getting the best deal out of the CAP reform is very dependent on developing a coherent single approach for the island of Ireland.

"Yet again we see another example of the damage that being tied to the 'UK' policy is doing here, locally in the Six Counties. We are still living with the consequences of BSE. Being tied top 'UK' policy is delivering terminal decline.

"We need a united front in challenging the Commission decision not to permit continuing aid for fishing fleets. It is encouraging to see that Jim Allister accepts that the major damage was caused by the 'UK government refusing, while aid was permitted, to match funding on a pound for pound basis'. If The DUP are to best serve the needs of our fishing and agriculture industries he should challenge his own politically motivated short sightedness and begin to examine the potential to working to create a single united agenda for our fishing and agriculture communities." ENDS

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