February 22, 2023
EU Agri-committee need to see how Brexit has affected Agri-Food industry in region”– MEP MacManus requests EU visit to border counties

EU Agri-committee need to see how Brexit has affected Agri-Food industry in region”– MEP MacManus requests EU visit to border counties

“Now is the time for fact finding mission to the six-counties and across the border region” according to Sinn Féin MEP

Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, has today appealed to the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee to accept his proposal for a fact-finding mission to the north of Ireland in 2023 to assess the impact of Brexit and hear from local producers and agri-food businesses.

The Midlands Northwest MEP said:

“Today I submitted a formal request to the chairperson of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee advocating for a mission to Ireland, particularly across the border region and its hinterland.”

“The British Government must not override the protocol as this would be damaging to the agri-food sector amongst many others. The Protocol is the only viable solution to the damage Brexit poses for the agri-sector on the island of Ireland; it has allowed large volume of agricultural produce to move from farmers in the north to processors in the south and it has helped maintain trade links to our nearest neighbours in Britain.” 

“We also need to showcase the benefit of cross-border harmonisation in relation to all-Ireland geographical indicators which we must promote to protect and continue showcasing some of Ireland’s most globally renowned goods, whether its dairy, whiskey, beef etc. A mission will be the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this.”

“Britain is the EU’s largest export destination for the EU agri-food sector, which includes Ireland, exported 39.5 billion euros in the first ten months in 2022 alone. Yet the British Government and DUP are insistent on pursuing this reckless anti-protocol agenda over the heads and against the wishes of our farmers which would weaken this trade. Britain could easily join a sanitary and phytosanitary agreement with the EU, like Switzerland, Norway and Iceland which ease many matters.”

MacManus spoke of a visit sooner rather than later. “The next twelve months will be an ideal opportunity for MEPs from across Europe to visit the north of Ireland and the border counties to hear people’s concerns regarding Brexit, the Tory and DUP’s threats to dismantle the protocol and the impact that this will have on the all-Ireland economy and the agri-food sector.”

The Midlands Northwest MEP concluded, “This year, with it being the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, is the perfect time to showcase just how important an all-Ireland agri-food sector is, and how Brexit has brought nothing but hardship for our farmers in the border region and beyond.” ENDS

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