UK Government Bill to override parts of Protocol will be a ‘travesty’ for NI dairy sector, says Blair

Alliance MLA John Blair has said the UK Government’s Bill legislation on the Northern Ireland Protocol will be a “travesty” for the local dairy sector.

By Joanne Knox
Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 4:29 pm

The party’s agricultural spokesperson was speaking after the government unveiled plans to override parts of the Protocol which, if enacted, would “undermine Northern Ireland’s unfettered access to the EU Single Market”.

“The dairy sector is an integral and important part of the local economy, providing employment for thousands of people and export sales of almost £600 million to dozens of countries,” the South Antrim MLA commented.

“The Protocol allows for trade flows to continue seamlessly between Northern Ireland and the south.

John Blair MLA

“Unilateral action to change it will have severe implications for local dairy farmers.

“These proposed changes will impact the dairy industry specifically, because it relies on UK materials, such as grain and pesticide for its feedstocks.

“Under a dual regulatory regime, not co-designed with the EU, they would not be recognised as produced in accordance with EU standards, and could therefore mean local dairy products are not recognised within the EU Single Market.

“This would be a travesty for dairy farmers and the wider agri-food sector,” Mr Blair added.