The Ulster Farmers’ Union says it is watching events in Brussels, London and Dublin with interest, but believes there is too little information available to draw firm conclusions.
It says its focus, as it has been since the start of the Brexit process, is to see arrangements emerge that will not disadvantage farmers in Northern Ireland or make the process of securing markets more difficult.
UFU deputy president, Ivor Ferguson, says current events are in a political sphere beyond the normal lobbying focus of the UFU or other organisations. He added: “We never seek to become involved in mainstream politics, and that remains our position. As the Brexit negotiations continue our goal will be to ensure nothing happens to undermine access to our market in the rest of the UK, which is and will remain our biggest.
“At the same time, we have stressed from the outset the importance of finding a solution that allows long standing trade relationships between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to continue with minimal disruption.”
Mr Ferguson added that whatever finally emerges on ‘regulatory alignment’ it is essential nothing is done that would jeopardise these critical objectives.
“We will seek to influence this debate to ensure the best possible deal for farmers. That is about maximising market opportunities. We will watch with interest where the wider political debate is going – but our role remains focussed on the long term financial fortunes of farming families across Northern Ireland,” he said.