Ulster Unionist Party MEP Jim Nicholson has criticised the British government for negotiating a deal which will see a substantial reduction in the amount of EU rural development money coming to the North between 2007 and 2013.
In a statement, Mr Nicholson said: “Once again the UK Government has a negotiated a bad deal that will impact adversely upon Northern Ireland’s farmers placing us at a serious competitive disadvantage compared to our counterparts in other regions of the EU.
“This current government have no love for our rural communities. It was only this week that the Chancellor Gordon Brown launched a blistering attack on the CAP in a speech in Nigeria stating that Europe must set a timetable to end all forms of agricultural protectionism in a fresh effort to break the deadlock in the WTO talks.
“What is clear is that the agricultural industry can not be asked to accept another round of reforms now.
“What the farming industry needs is a period of stability, not the prospect of further reform.”
Nicholson was among the delgates who met with the Ulster Farmers Union this week at their headquarters in Belfast.