Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill’s presence at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Luxembourg this week.
Martina Anderson said:
“I am encouraged that Minister O’Neill is attending the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Luxembourg this week. I believe that we need strong representation to ensure that we get the best result for our Agriculture sector. While we don’t have our own seat on the Council and we are depending on Owen Paterson to present our case, it is important that the Minister is there to ensure that he presents our expectations accurately.
“We need CAP to be implemented regionally in a way that suits our needs. For instance, our Minister is attempting to obtain an option to allocate entitlements only to those claimants who were engaged in production activity in 2011, which would exclude most non-farming landowners. Although a fairer way of allocating funding, this position is not wholeheartedly supported by Owen Patterson. Therefore it is good that the Minister is in a position to remind him of the importance of this position to us.
“It is also crucial that she is there to oppose any attempt to reintroduce the proposed ploughing ban on carbon rich and wetland soils in cross compliance.
“While the Council priorities may change as it enters the final days of negotiations in Luxembourg it is essential that we have someone there to look after our interests.” CRÍOCH