Irwin welcomes veterinary medicines assurance

DUP assemblyman William Irwin MLA has welcomed an assurance from his colleague, Sammy Wilson MP, who shared correspondence he received from DEFRA on the government’s intentions to use the Protocol Bill to remove barriers to access to veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland.
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It’s understood that, by the end of December 2022, 51 per cent of veterinary medicines supplied to Northern Ireland are at risk of discontinuation.

Mr Irwin said the assurance that the government would use this legal instrument to thwart the EU’s intransigence was an “important statement of intent”.

The Newry and Armagh representative stated: “These are concerns I raised some weeks ago and it is useful and important to see that the DEFRA Minister is prepared to use the Protocol Bill to thwart, what is clearly, EU intransigence on the issue of veterinary medicines being brought in to Northern Ireland.”

He added: “Given the size of the Northern Ireland market, there would be very considerable difficulty, expense and upheaval in meeting the very rigorous EU requirements on importation.

“Therefore, to simply allow this position to prevail as Sinn Fein, SDLP and the Alliance Party would love as part of their ‘rigorous implementation’ policy, would be so damaging and detrimental to agriculture in Northern Ireland.

“I will continue to voice my concerns around the protocol and the need for it to be binned, with instead, frictionless trade and movement of goods re-established in full. Progress must continue to be made on this issue,” Mr Irwin concluded.