All-Ireland strategy for farmers needed to defend their interests – Mac Lochlainn
Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to “immediately outline the Governments strategy for assisting our farming community and protecting their interests that are clearly threatened by the Brexit vote”.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said:
“The recent Brexit vote will damage many sectors of the Irish and EU economies and there is no sector more vulnerable than the farming sector across the island of Ireland. With 51% of exports from agriculture going to the UK and similarly 51% of imports returning via the same route, it is ‘absolutely vital that a free trade agreement is sustained between both markets regardless of the UK’s future position within the single market of the EU’.
“The last thing farmers need is the return of tariffs which will seriously erode the already lowered incomes being earned by farmers across the Agri-sector. The almost daily deterioration in the value of sterling is causing deep concern for farming families and as we know this is as a direct result of the Brexit vote.
“These issues along with many others at play are as a direct consequence of Brexit. I and my colleagues in Sinn Féin are particularly worried by the recent comments from the German Vice Chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, where he suggested that the Common Agricultural Policy should be cut substantially and I now call on Minister Creed to immediately rebuff these comments and now stand up in defence of Irish farmers.
“I am now calling for the Government strategy to be compiled on an all island basis as part of an All-Ireland forum suggested by Sinn Féin with special recognition given to agriculture as part of any future negotiations on Brexit given the almost unbreakable nature with which farming communities both North and South work together at present.”