Sinn Fein warns CAP axe could 'plunge 20k Northern Ireland farm families into poverty'
Sinn Fein has warned the axing of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy could "plunge over 20,000 families into poverty" in Northern Ireland.
Sinn Fein's spokesman on rural affairs Declan McAleer said the axing of pillar 1 payments - which provide direct income support to farmers - would put Northern Ireland's ability to produce "high standard and affordable food" at "grave risk".
It comes in response to comments made by Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons on Monday.
Speaking during a debate on the European Council, the Prime Minister was responding to questions from the leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn focused on the date Britain will leave the European Union.
"We will be leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019, and we will therefore be leaving the common fisheries policy and the common agricultural policy on that date," said Mrs May.
"The relationship that we have with the European Union on both those issues continuing through the implementation period will be part of the negotiation of that period, and work will start very soon."
She added that the arrangements for fisheries policy will be part of the negotiations for the implementation period, and that: "Leaving the CFP and the CAP gives us the opportunity, post-implementation period, to introduce arrangements that work for the United Kingdom."
She also said Environment Secretary Michael Gove is in discussions with the fishing and agriculture industries about what those future arrangements should look like.