Agri sector needs certainty: McGlone

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SDLP rural affairs spokesperson Patsy McGlone MLA has said that in the face of Brexit, those in the agricultural sector need certainty and clarity about the future.

He said that environmental quality knows no borders and Brexit cannot be allowed to impact upon the high standards that we have.

Mr McGlone said: “I was pleased to attend the Balmoral Show with SDLP colleagues yesterday and engage with people and stakeholders right across the agricultural sector.

“Brexit was certainly the word that was on everyone’s lips.

“What is clear is that farmers and businesses need clarity and certainty about the future, especially in regards to agri-food and environmental standards and funding.

“In the north we currently have a high standard of food safety and environment standards and it is vital that these are maintained.

“This includes preventing cheap and substandard imports which could harm local produce markets.

“As we know, environmental quality knows no borders.

“Brexit cannot be allowed to impact upon the high standards that we have for agri-food and the environment.

“It is imperative that our rules continue to mirror those of Europe.

“What we are faced with is a British Brexiteer government which does not have a working rural economy as its priority.

“The SDLP has been engaging with farmers, stakeholders and businesses and we will continue to have detailed meetings and represent their concerns at all opportunities and remind the British government about the importance of our agricultural sector here in the north.”