McAleer calls for early publication of post-Brexit agriculture framework
Sinn Féin’s rural affairs spokesperson Declan McAleer has called on the Department of Agriculture, Environment and rural affairs (DAERA) to publish details of a post Brexit agricultural framework policy that it has been developing.
The West Tyrone MLA was speaking after a party delegation met senior departmental officials at Stormont Castle last week for talks on Brexit.
He said: “During the past year, DAERA in conjunction with a number of stakeholders has been working on policy framework proposals that would replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the event of an exit from the EU. These proposals revolve around a future framework based on the four pillars of Productivity; Resilience; Environmental sustainability and Supply chain.
“During our meeting with department officials, I stressed the public interest around any future proposals and asked the department to make them publicly available at the earliest opportunity. They indicated a target of late summer to begin a public consultation process.
“I appreciate that policy proposals are speculative at this stage as any final policy will be linked to an as yet unseen Westminster Agriculture Bill and the final Brexit deal. And of course, in the event of a ‘backstop’ solution, the north would continue to remain within the single market and customs union where the existing CAP would still apply so a domestic policy would have to converge with the rules and regulations of the EU.
“However, in situations where policies which could affect the future of farming and rural life are being developed it is essential that there is maximum stakeholder and public engagement and I am calling on DAERA to open these proposals for consultation as soon as possible."