Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, and Tony Lloyd MP, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary are visiting Northern Ireland today (Thursday 25th October) to meet with farmers, green groups, fishermen and the food and drinks industry.
The food and drinks industry is the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, and a £5 billion industry in Northern Ireland. A no deal scenario could result in fresh milk, live animals, cereals and flour being unable to cross the border and unable to access wider EU markets.
The visit will include meetings with the President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, Northern Ireland Environment Link, Northern Ireland’s largest Fishing port and the oldest micro-brewery in Ireland.
Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary, said: “It is crucial that the voices of farmers and the food and drinks industry in Northern Ireland are properly listened to as they are so vital to jobs and economic prosperity.
“Michael Gove’s Agriculture Bill doesn’t take account of the needs of farmers in Northern Ireland and ignores the issue of national food security and public health.”
Tony Lloyd MP, Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, said: “Northern Ireland’s agriculture and Agri-foods sector is key to the Northern Ireland economy and we must ensure it is protected for the future. Labour’s proposals on future customs and regulatory arrangements with the EU are key to ensuring our business are protected but also that the vital all island environmental bodies can continue.
“The Government needs to take these issues seriously and ensure there is no hard border on the island of Ireland or down the Irish sea to protect our Farming and Fisheries communities.”