Need to secure special designated status to provide certainty and stability - Archibald
Sinn Féin MLAs Caoimhe Archibald and Declan McAleer met with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs this week as part of continued engagement with all departments.
Speaking following the meeting Caoimhe Archibald said”
"We had a useful meeting with the Permanent Secretary and discussed the implications of Brexit on the department and the planning which is ongoing.
"The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will be one of the departments most affected by Brexit.
"The major issues which need to be addressed include the future of agricultural policy and trading arrangements between the EU, Britain and the rest of the world.
"However of key concern is the amount of European funding which comes to north through Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and other programmes.
"In 2016 average direct payments represented 169% of the average farm business income in the North and total income from farming was £32 million less than the value of direct EU subsidies received.
"Environmental programmes depend largely on the Rural Development Programme and other EU funding streams and there have been no guarantees from the British government around the replacement funding, post 2020.
"This highlights the need to secure special designated status for the North for the good of our farming and agri-food industry and to provide certainty and stability."