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27 September 2016 | Online since 2003
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23 September 2016 08:10:22 |Government,News

Irish border trade must continue after Brexit, UFU warns


Access across the Irish border is a major concern for Northern Irish farmers

Access across the Irish border is a major concern for Northern Irish farmers

Cross border trade for cattle and sheep must be protected during Brexit negotiations, the Ulster Farmers' Union have urged.
Speaking during a visit to the Irish National Ploughing Championships, deputy President Victor Chestnutt said his trade must be protected.
He warned that without this protection for trade Brexit would have a negative impact on livestock farms.
"There are many established links between the livestock sector in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for both breeding and finished stock.
"This historic trade, in place for generations, is crucial if we are to sustain a vibrant and economically viable livestock sector north and south of the border," said the UFU deputy president.
Over the past week Mr Chestnutt, along with Crosby Cleland and Sam Chesney of the UFU's beef and lamb committee, have been speaking to farmers and livestock marts on both sides of the border.
They say it was clear from these discussions that there is genuine concern Brexit could disrupt trade and competition for livestock.
"From a Northern Ireland perspective, this year we have exported half our lambs and a significant number of cattle to processors south of the border.
"This trade, facilitated by the live markets, has encouraged competition and ensured farmers get the best possible price for their stock," said Mr Chestnutt.
He added that while the sterling/euro exchange rate has a major bearing on the success of this trade, government must recognise that additional complications as a result of Brexit would undermine farm incomes and this must be avoided.

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