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North can and must remain in the EU - McAleer

5 November, 2017 - by Declan McAleer

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has said the north can and must remain in the EU by securing special status. 

Speaking after attending a conference on Brexit organised by Martina Anderson MEP, Declan McAleer said: 

"The agriculture sector in the north is at risk of isolation as a result of the industry's reliance of the industry on All Ireland trade and the prospect of an EU border in Ireland with tariffs and customs.  

“Should Britain enter into food trade deals with non EU countries which have lower standards than the European Union then the EU will have no other choice but to ensure that this imported food does not enter their food chain and this would mean the imposition of an EU frontier. 

“I also noted comments from Michael Gove last week who correctly described the local dairy industry as ‘world beating.’ Unfortunately, this is of little comfort for local farmers who export around 800 million litres of milk to the south each year, while Gove and his Tory-DUP friends are blindly walking the north out of the EU. 

“What is actually happening is that the Tories, with DUP support are dragging Britain back to their pre-1973 national policy, which prioritised cheap food over food security with the shortfall being made up by imports at low or zero tariff levels. 

“All of this is potentially devastating for the North’s agriculture industry which has built up an international reputation for top standard, traceability and affordability. 

“However, the solution is very clear.  The north can and must remain in the EU and we in Sinn Féin will continue to do everything in our power at every level to ensure that the north gets special designated status”.

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