‘DUP prepared to decimate farming community’ - Hazzard
The latest Westminster committee report has exposed how the DUP is prepared to decimate the farming community through its reckless Brexit agenda, Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said.
The Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson was commenting after the committee called for clarity on post-Brexit policy and funding for farmers here.
Accusing the British Government of lying to farmers in the run-up to the EU referendum, Chris Hazzard said:
“A staggering 93 per cent of the income generated by our farmers and agri-food producers comes from the European Union.
“The British Government has not given any commitment to replacing EU subsidies because there was never any intention of doing that. The fact is that they deliberately misled and lied to the farming community during the EU referendum by claiming that this money would be replaced post-Brexit.
“That simply won’t be the case because, as the committee heard, the post-Brexit arrangements have been designed with a view to protecting the needs of farmers in England rather than here in Ireland.
“The committee also heard that a no-deal scenario could result in fresh milk, live animals, cereals and flour being unable to cross the border and denied access to wider EU markets.
“Considering that almost £900 million of food and live animals were exported south last year, that is an eventuality that the industry simply couldn’t sustain.
“Clearly this report has laid bare the extent to which the DUP is prepared to decimate the agri-food sector in order to sate their lust for a hard Brexit and a hard border on our island.
“It also again underscores the importance of the Dublin Government and the EU27 ensuring the Brexit negotiations deliver a deal that is in the best interests of Ireland, north and South.”