29 May 2017
DUP MEP Diane Dodds has said that Sinn Fein’s latest anti-brexit document ignores the realities for Northern Ireland agriculture.
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
Mrs Dodds said,
“Sinn Fein is playing politics with farmers. Despite their claims to be an all-Ireland party they serve neither Northern Ireland nor the Republic well.
The United Kingdom is by far the most important market for agri-food produce from both sides of the border. Anything which jeopardises that market should be rejected. A hard border, under a united-Ireland, between this island and Great Britain would decimate the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Sinn Fein also scaremonger on two main points:
Firstly, Sinn Fein representatives are the only people talking about a hard border. Neither Brussels, London nor Dublin support one and are working to ensure it is not the case.
Secondly, Sinn Fein's assumption that funding will be reduced under a new system is unfounded. Our government has provided more certainty than Europe by pledging to continue funding at current levels until 2022.
If Sinn Fein talked to local farmers they would know the focus is on seeing a functioning Executive back in place and local Ministers working for the industry.
Farmers are tired of Sinn Fein putting party political demands above the needs of agriculture. Farmers don't want absentee MPs who refuse to turn up for work or speak up for the industry in the House of Commons.
Farmers understand Brexit is happening and want to see political parties working to get the very best deal for Northern Ireland. They want to see us maximising the opportunities and dealing with the challenges, not exploiting agriculture as a political football to advance their narrow united-Ireland agenda.”