FFA welcomes ‘no borders’ pledge

EU Commission handout picture showing EU President Jean-Claude Juncker greeting British Prime Minister Theresa May at the EU Commission in Brussels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday December 8, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Etienne Ansotte/EU/PA Wire'NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
EU Commission handout picture showing EU President Jean-Claude Juncker greeting British Prime Minister Theresa May at the EU Commission in Brussels. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday December 8, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Etienne Ansotte/EU/PA Wire'NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
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Farmers for Action have welcomed the ‘no border’ pledge from Prime Minister Theresa May following yesterday’s ‘breakthrough’ Brexit deal.

In the early hours of Friday morning the Prime Minister struck a last minute deal with the EU in a bid to move Brexit talks on to the next phase.

The announcement came after Theresa May and David Davis made an early-hours journey to Brussels to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

She said there will be no “hard border” with Ireland and EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU, will see their rights protected.

The European Commission president hailed it as a “breakthrough” and said he was confident EU leaders will approve it.

The Steering Committee of Farmers For Action (FFA) UK NI has welcomed the deal struck in Brussels, which will allow the UK and the EU27 move on to the second phase of the Brexit negotiations.

A spokesperson said:“FFA in Northern Ireland would have wished to stay in the EU, in the hope of having the flaws in Brussels reformed.

“However, the position which UK-based businesses found themselves in, including Northern Ireland’s farming and food sectors, up to yesterday, was eating away at the very soul of their existences with uncertainty.

“Whilst FFA’s second preferred option was to stay in the Customs’ Union and the Single Market regulatory alignment, Theresa May’s statement that there will be no borders, north, south, east or west, will be a good third option.

“Meanwhile, we expect to see Northern Ireland’s politicians stepping up to the plate and getting back into Stormont immediately as there is work to be done. This includes legislation on farm gate prices.”

Deputy president of the Ulster farmers’ Union, Ivor Ferguson said the deal is the start of a long negotiation on the crucial issue of trade between the UK and the EU-27 after Brexit.

He added: “The UFU will fully engage in those discussions, where possible, on behalf of the farming families it represents. We are glad the deal protects our free trade into the rest of the UK, which is our biggest and most profitable market. We warned that anything that would threaten that would be unacceptable.

“We are committed to free trade on the island of Ireland, and believe the negotiation opens the road for that to be secured. We are also now more hopeful that a practical deal will be reached to allow us to retain access the EU-27 market – a deal also in the interests of all those in the rest of the EU that supply the UK market with food. This is the start of a process, but it does hold promise,” said Mr Ferguson.