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McAleer to meet representatives from the agri-food and farming Industries regarding Brexit

31 May, 2017 - by Declan McAleer

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Declan McAleer will meet with representatives from the agri-food and farming Industries tomorrow to discuss Brexit.

Prior to the meeting the Sinn Féin MLA said:

“In the pursuit of Brexit, the DUP and Tories are prepared to lay waste to our rural communities and farming economy.

“The farming sector is both a major food provider and employer with the north being a net beneficiary of EU funds.

“Our agriculture sector is heavily dependent on EU funding via direct payments/single farm payments from the Common Agriculture Policy. It is estimated that 87% of farm incomes come from these payments.

“Brexit would represent a loss of £236 million per annum to farmers, an average of £10,184 per farm, as well as also removing £186 million from our Rural Development Programme.

“The DUP has supported a Tory party that refuses to commit to replacing these funds. Brexit will impose costly barriers including tariffs, origin checks, more paperwork, physical border checks and two different regulatory regimes.

“Brexit will have massive implications on the sale of the large number of animals and products that travel north and south for processing, slaughter and breeding every day.

“EU regulations ensure a high standard of produce. Brexit exposes us to cheap imports as the Tories pursue trade deals that reflect their needs and not those of local producers.

“The only way to protect our farmers and our agri-food sector is for the North to be designated special status within the EU to ensure continued support to farming communities and access to markets.”

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