We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Brexit: Loss of Income for Farmers

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 3rd October 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sean Lynch Sean Lynch Sinn Féin 3:15 pm, 3rd October 2016

T6. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs whether she has any detail on the potential loss of income to farmers as a result of Brexit, given that, in answer to a number of questions, she has mentioned the work that her Department has been doing around Brexit. (AQT 271/16-21)

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

I thank the Member for his question. The current situation is positive, as he would have noted in my response to the question from Ms Sinéad Bradley. Exports are much more competitive as a result of the euro/sterling exchange rate. Sheep prices and cattle prices have increased, as have pig prices, over the last year. You will also be aware of the basic payment increase of 16·5% on last year, which accounts for an extra £39 million to the Northern Ireland economy.

Photo of Sean Lynch Sean Lynch Sinn Féin

I thank the Minister for her answer. Can she guarantee farmers that they will be better off financially as a result of Brexit?

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

In the short term, they are better off. In the long term, there would be absolutely no guarantee that they were going to be better off even if we remained in the European Union. It is very early days, and I cannot forecast that.