Belfast Telegraph

NI farmers praise move and urge MPs to agree deal

By Staff Reporter

The Ulster Farmers' Union has said a critical vote by MPs to seek an extension to Article 50 is a positive step.

However, it also warned that there was no time to waste and any extension granted by the EU must be used constructively to ensure the UK leaves the bloc with a deal.

UFU president Ivor Ferguson said: "The writing has been on the wall for some time now.

"With only 14 days to go until Brexit, there is no realistic possibility of achieving an orderly departure from the EU on the agreed date.

"The UFU has been clear from the outset - a no-deal Brexit would be the worst possible outcome for Northern Ireland's family farm businesses.

"It is reassuring that a significant majority in Parliament feel the same way and have supported an extension to Article 50.

"However, the clock is ticking and immediate action is needed to ensure a no-deal Brexit does not become a reality."

The UFU chief said if the EU grants an extension to Article 50 any subsequent negotiations must have real substance.

"Currently the UK is heading blindly towards a cliff edge and the uncertainty is causing major real-world issues for farm businesses," he added.

"It's time to put differences aside and act in the interest of the country as a whole.

"The Government and MPs must identify a clear strategy and use any extension constructively.

"Simply delaying the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is completely unacceptable."

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