Beattie and UFU hold ‘productive meeting
Earlier this week UUP leader Doug Beattie, MC, MLA met with members of the Ulster Farmers’ Union.
Speaking following his meeting he said: “It was a pleasure to meet the Ulster Farmers’ Union at their Headquarters on Wednesday in my role as Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.
“It was an extensive and useful meeting and we touched on many issues including climate change. I find it’s always better to engage directly with people because you get to hear directly what people’s concerns are and vice versa.
“I found it very productive and the Ulster Unionist Party will continue to engage with and listen to the views of the farming community in the weeks, months and years ahead.
“Changes to the climate will affect everyone whether they live in urban or rural communities. Climate change is happening and we can’t ignore that, yet Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom which doesn’t yet have climate change legislation and it’s simply not good enough. We may be a small part of the United Kingdom, but we must play our part.
“That’s why we support climate change legislation.
“It was deeply regrettable that it took a Private Members Bill to force the issue of Climate Change legislation on to the political agenda of the Executive. I welcome the fact that the DAERA Minister is now in the process of bringing forward climate change legislation.
“I also welcome news that the Minister for Agriculture and his officials are now meeting with Clare Bailey in trying to find common ground between the two Climate Change Bills and seeking to establish if a common approach can be agreed on progression of the Bills or indeed the amalgamation of the Bills.
“There will be a lot of speculation about those discussions, but the best result is if agreement can be reached on one amalgamated Bill. This is too important an issue for politicians to attempt to score political points.
“Political differences need to be set aside and we all need to work together to arrive at the best solution.
“As part of the Ulster Unionist Party’s own consultation we have spoken directly to dozens of people and organisations from across Northern Ireland including the agri-food sector and we remain in listening mode.”