Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has urged farmers across Northern Ireland to vote to leave the European Union on Thursday.
Mr Irwin said he felt that the EU of today had far overstretched its reach and authority compared with the original vision of the EEC of 40 years ago.
He said: “My message to voters across Northern Ireland is very clear – vote to take back control of our own affairs. Our British sovereignty is undoubtedly being eroded with an ever more encroaching, over bureaucratic and most worryingly of all, unaccountable EU, legislating and taking decisions on our behalf, many of which are detrimental to our country.
“From an agricultural perspective, farmers are all too aware of the intrusive EU directives which dictate to our industry and I have spoken to many farmers who share the view that to be rid of this overbearing and bureaucratic system would be a huge relief.
“I know from my work in the Agriculture Committee, officials within the Department fret continually about complying with EU rules and the job of monitoring and complying with these directives, not to mention the huge fines that can follow for any breach, costs millions of pounds alone, money that could be spent on much more important things.
“As a farmer myself I have no fears over leaving the EU, indeed I am firmly of the view that the savings that would be generated from leaving the EU would be sufficient to ensure that that the UK could easily continue to provide support to agriculture and indeed the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has given that very assurance.
“I am clear in my decision to vote to leave Europe as I know that if we remain, the costs of the EU will only increase and our ability to operate as a sovereign British nation will be eroded further.
“Our borders will be even less controllable and with the strong possibility of other countries joining the EU, that will mean an even greater demand placed upon the UK to provide yet more money to this insatiable system with even less in return.”
He added: “We have one opportunity on Thursday to put the brakes firmly on the EU and end its incessant and expensive encroachment in our country, do not waste this opportunity, vote Leave.”