A Lifeline For NI Farmers? The Sinn Fein landslide in perspective


Sinn Fein regains seats at Parliament Buildings, bringing much hope for farmers amid Brexit fears.

A Lifeline For NI Farmers? The Sinn Fein landslide in perspective

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  • 3 years ago

Sinn Fein regains seats at Parliament Buildings, bringing much hope for farmers amid Brexit fears.

Major strides for Nationalism were made during Stormont’s snap election as the Sinn Fein party received an impressive 27 seats.

This political switch up came as a major blow to the DUP Unionist party as they entered the election 10 seats ahead of Sinn Fein.

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt resigned as a result, while DUP leader Arlene Foster will face backlash after her party fell below the threshold.

Sinn Fein’s gain in this election could be seen as a lifeline for the farming community in the North as the impact of Brexit is expected to have detrimental consequences.

EU farming government payments are speculated to come to a halt for farmers in the North in 2020, which could result in a vast decline in farming numbers, which could also impact upon the rural economy as a whole.

Under Pillar II (Rural Development Programmes) of the Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020, EU Member States and regions have options for funding in an aim to protect the rural environment.

The 2014-2020 Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme (NIRDP) has allocated significant sums of money to the agriculture sector and there are fears that this could come to an end.

€194 million has been allocated to agri-environment climate measures while €79 million has been allocated to support for areas facing natural constraints (ANC).

Import and export custom charges will also be implented on the trade of agricultural goods which is currently free of charge for countries trading in the EU.

With the impact of Brexit looming over the heads of thousands of farmers, it is uncertain what the future will bring.

The majority of Northern Ireland’s population voted to stay in the EU with the Remain side edging it with 55.77 per cent so it is evident that they will not be in favour of these expected government-funding cuts.

As the future remains uncertain, Sinn Fein's recent regain of seats at Stormont brings hope within Northern Ireland's farming community.

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