July 22, 2021
British government rigidity damaging the North

Sinn Féin Agriculture spokespersons north, south and in the European Parliament have today appealed to British Brexit Minister David Frost to drop his rigid, ideological approach and to put the interests of people in the north of Ireland first.

“Everybody knows that the way to reduce checks in the Irish Sea is an SPS agreement,” said Chris MacManus MEP.

“Agriculture is an essential and fully integrated sector of the economy. An SPS agreement would be a boost to farmers and rural communities north and south,” said Matt Carthy TD.

“Everybody in the north would support an SPS agreement. Even the most convinced Brexit supporters in the DUP can see that it makes sense,” said Declan McAleer MLA.

MacManus added, “We are pleading with the EU for flexibility on the Protocol, which they have shown and continue to show. There are a range of measures that are under consideration to further mitigate some of the difficulties caused by Brexit. But David Frost refuses to even consider the one thing that could make a real difference.”

Carthy observed that “Joe Biden has even offered to drop a key plank of US trade agreements in future trade negotiations in order to facilitate an agreement on SPS with the EU. But the British government remains deaf to his to voices of reason in Ireland, across the EU and over the Atlantic.”

McAleer concluded, “An Agreement could be done in a matter of weeks. It could even be a temporary agreement. It would provide crucial breathing space to farmers and to the whole economy. The only obstacle is the British government.” 

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