Brendan Smith: Proposed UK government changes to parts of NI protocol ‘absolutely ludicrous’

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has described proposed British government changes to parts of the NI protocol as “absolutely ludicrous”.

Deputy Brendan Smith, speaking in Dáil Eireann with Taoiseach Micheál Martin on the matter, commented, “The agrifood sector has grown on a cross-Border and All-Ireland basis. It is essential that the other member states of the European Union continue to support the Government in protecting that sector. 

“It will be very vulnerable, should the British Government’s decision to tear up parts of the protocol be implemented. It is absolutely ludicrous for the British Government to come up with the idea of two regulatory regimes for food; it is not viable. Who would certify the transfer of milk from Northern Ireland to southern processing units? A food chain, in the context of processing, cannot be broken.”

In response, Taoiseach, Micheál Martin stated: “Deputy Smith is correct about what is transpiring in respect of the decision that has been made on the dual regulatory framework. All of those involved in industry, manufacturing, the dairy industry and agrifood are saying this loud and clear. It is a form of economic illiteracy from the perspective of Northern Ireland that one would create such a dual regulatory framework because it does not allow for full traceability and it creates challenges for those exporting commodities. 

“This has been pointed out to me by the interests concerned and I have pointed this out. Manufacturing in Northern Ireland is saying it has had the best time under the protocol. That needs to be said.”