Anderson says Brexit may cost farmers 34k euros per year

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Farmers in Londonderry and Tyrone could lose more than the average Northern Ireland income annually as a result of Brexit, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has warned.

Following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union on Thursday, the Londonderry-based MEP claimed farmers here lose out by as much as 34,000 euros per year.

“The agriculture industry, one of the most vital industries on this island, now faces serious problems.

“When this referendum was called, and indeed throughout the campaign, the case of Irish farmers did not cross the mind of the British Tory party.

“The economy in the north relies heavily on EU agricultural payments and subsidies, as well as other important regional funding. Given the Tory agenda of austerity and their cutting of the bloc grant, we in Sinn Féin have absolutely no confidence that the British government will replace these lost funds.

“In terms of the Common Agriculture Policy alone, farmers could lose in the region of 34,000 euros a year, which would cripple their livelihoods.

“This is not to mention the impact possible restrictions placed on cross-border trading would have.

“We in Sinn Féin fear that in future negotiations and in the eventual case of a Brexit, the British government won’t fight for farmers in the north. Sinn Féin will continue to stand up for Irish farmers and fight their case in Europe, Leinster House, the Assembly and local government.”