Consultation important for NI agriculture

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David Simpson MP has urged the Northern Ireland agri-food sector to make their views known on the consultation document ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’.

The DUP member of the EFRA committee in Westminster believes that this document will have implications for the agri-food sector throughout the whole of the UK post Brexit and not just farmers in England.

Mr Simpson commented: “Last month the DEFRA Minster Michael Gove launched a consultation document into the future rural policy entitled ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’. Even though this document is primarily focused on England it will have a big impact on the sector in other parts of the UK including Northern Ireland.

“This week the DEFRA scrutiny committee in Westminster launched an inquiry to see if the proposals from the DEFRA Minister can deliver a bright future for both agriculture and the environment post Brexit. As a member of the EFRA Committee I am particularly keen to get views on the document from a Northern Ireland perspective.

“I believe that it is vital that we get a common framework across the UK and a system that supports sustainable agriculture without creating trade distortions between the different regions. There is a danger that different Devolved regions could implement different forms of support and this will impact on how various sectors perform over the next decade. I do have a number of concerns about the policy proposals coming from DEFRA but would like to hear the views on the document from the Northern Ireland industry.

“Over the coming months I would expect DAERA to produce a similar document for Northern Ireland,” he added.