Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture Declan McAleer has hit out at the British Government’s attempts to override the Protocol which would damage dairy farmers and the industry as a whole.
The West Tyrone MLA said:
“The British Government must drop its attempts to override the protocol which would damage dairy farmers and the processing industry.
“The Protocol is the solution not the problem for the dairy industry; it has allowed 800 million litres of milk to be transported from farmers in the north to processors in the south and it has helped maintain trade links to Britain. That’s the reality but rather than recognise this the British Government wants to replace it with a system which would create more bureaucracy and costs for farmers and businesses.
“The British Government and Minister Poots need to listen to the concerns of farmers.
“Today the Dairy Council has said that the Protocol is the solution to the problems caused as a result of the British government dragging us out of the EU. Yet the British Government and DUP are insistent on pursuing this reckless anti protocol agenda over the heads and against the wishes of our dairy farmers.
“Outstanding issues with the protocol can be worked through between the British Government and the EU. However, attempts to override the protocol and replace it with dual recognition is the wrong approach, it will damage our farmers, many of whom are already struggling with the rising costs of fuel, grain and energy.
“Sinn Féin will stand up for our dairy farmers and we will continue to oppose the British Government’s reckless attempts to override the Protocol and do irreparable damage to the dairy industry.”