October 31, 2019
Carthy calls for BEAM scheme reopening to cater for farmers trading cross-border

Carthy calls for BEAM scheme reopening to cater for farmers trading cross-border

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called for the BEAM scheme to be extended and reopened to allow farmers who sold animals in the North to receive compensation.

Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee, said that the exclusion of farms who sent animals north for slaughter was nonsensical considering the scheme was secured as a mechanism to support those impacted by the Brexit process.  He further stated that he believed the criteria could breech the principles of the EU Single Market.

He said:

“I have written to the relevant European Commissioners and Minister Creed to request that the BEAM scheme be reopened for those farmers that have been excluded because they operate on a cross border basis.  It is ludicrous to suggest that the farmers most likely to be impacted by any Brexit shocks, namely those in the border region, are the ones who are denied access to the scheme designed to protect against those same shocks.

“The rationale behind the restriction is, according to the Department of Agriculture, purely technical.  The exclusion of farmers who trade cross border is because the proof of slaughter is not available on the AIMs system.

“However, it would be perfectly feasible for a manual application process to be utilised to allow these farmers to provide proof of slaughter dockets from establishments north of the border. The Department must therefore establish a new timeframe to allow these farmers time to apply for aid.

“The failure of Minister Creed to facilitate the provision of aid to these farmers can only be regarded as callous disregard towards those who operate on an all-island basis.  It was the reality of life for these farmers, and the communities from which they come, that allowed Irish concerns to become central to the Brexit process and secure support for this Beef Aid scheme at EU level.  That those same farmers have been excluded from the process is inexcusable and must now be resolved”.

ENDS

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