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Alliance raises Brexit concerns on agri-food issues

Alliance representatives have met with Denis McMahon, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, to highlight concerns on how Brexit may impact on agricultural and environmental issues.

 

The representatives included spokesperson on the environment John Blair MLA, Kellie Armstrong MLA and David Ford, former Party Leader and MLA.

John Blair said: “Given the uncertainty about how Brexit will impact on Northern Ireland we were reassured to hear from Mr McMahon about the level of work undertaken across his department, despite an ever changing situation. While he and his officials are now working through the detail of the deal announced on Thursday, this has been a huge drain on departmental resources and has taken key people away from the provision of frontline services to the farming community.

“Our view is there is no such thing as a good Brexit. Our farming community need guarantees, not only about their supply chains, but continuing access to markets without barriers or delays. 

“The agri-food sector is hugely important to Northern Ireland. We pride ourselves on producing high quality food with minimal impact on the environment while employing thousands of people, many self employed in small businesses. We need to do all we can to protect the integrity of our food and those jobs. 

“Alliance will continue to argue that any Brexit deal needs to be put to the people to decide if it is good for the country as a whole, or just a small short sighted section.”