All-island approach to Agriculture vital in wake of Brexit vote - Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said there is deep concern among many farmers in the North about the potential loss of vital EU funding, including the Single Farm Payment, if Brexit is imposed on the region.
Carthy, a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, said an all-island approach to Agriculture was needed now, more than ever.
Addressing a public meeting this evening in Omagh, Co. Tyrone on the implications for agriculture in the North of Brexit, Matt Carthy said:
“The economy in the North relies heavily on EU agricultural payments and subsidies, and other important regional funding.
“The potential loss of access to vital EU funding such as Single Farm Payments and other funding opportunities is causing deep concern across the North.
“Without EU support, many farms in the North wouldn’t survive and it is estimated that farmers here are set lose out by as much as €34,000 a year if the region is to be pulled out of the European Union.
“I have no confidence that a Tory Government in London will replace these lost funds.”
Mr Carthy also highlighted worries in the agri-food industry about the impact of trade barriers and tariffs on cross border trade.
“Irish produce is internationally renowned for its quality. Any reductions in standards in agri-food production, as a result of Brexit, would be disastrous for the North's reputation as a food producer.”
Carthy said the British Government would not fight for farmers or food producers in the North in any Brexit negotiations.
“So, it is imperative that the Irish Government implements an all-island strategy with special recognition given to agriculture as part of any negotiations.
“Either way, Sinn Féin will continue to stand up for Irish farmers, North and South, and will fight their case in Europe and in Ireland”, he said.
The Midlands North West MEP also welcomed the emergence of the 'Border Areas Against Brexit', campaign group.
It brings together representatives of business groups, trade unions, community groups and others in the border region opposed to Brexit.
Carthy called for cross-party support for the group’s ‘Day of Action’ on Saturday, 8th October.