Northern farmers plan protest at Stormont

Northern farmers are to stage a major demonstration at Stormont on Friday to highlight the difficulties facing their industry.

Ulster Farmers Union president Ian Marshall said: “People in Northern Ireland understand the importance of a vibrant food industry to the local economy, we aim to make sure this message is heard in Brussels.

"We do not want a situation where Commissioner Phil Hogan, sees protests in Dublin, Paris or anywhere else but not in Belfast and uses that to conveniently ignore us.”

In recent weeks dairy farmers, who warn they are facing their worst crisis in decades, have protested at supermarkets with tractors to block milk deliveries, while individuals have also removed milk from shelves.

The UFU cautions against collapsing the fragile political institutions at Stormont for fear they could be marginalised if direct rule from Westminster was imposed.

Mr Marshall added: “We are concerned that in an era of UK devolution we risk being marginalised in Westminster and Brussels if we do not have our own local political representation.”

A UFU delegation is also to join other EU farmers to picket a meeting between the commission with national farm ministers in Brussels on September 7.


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