Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Agriculture, Michael Comiskey, has urged members of the farming community to vote Yes in the EU Fiscal Stability Treaty on May 31st.
“In 2011 the agri-sector produced an overall annual output of €24billion and provided 150,000 jobs to the economy. A Yes vote in the upcoming referendum is vital for continued growth in the indigenous and export markets,” he told the Leitrim Observer.
“Future growth in the Irish agri-sector is heavily dependent on exports, voting Yes to the Treaty will prove a strong indication to foreign markets of our commitment to a stable euro which is important in accessing new trading opportunities and attracting investment in the sector.
“Ireland is hosting the EU Presidency from January 2013, coinciding with the final crucial stages in CAP negotiations.
“The Common Agricultural Programme has increased farmer’s incomes and improved standards to the benefit of farmers and consumers. The timing of these two events gives a small country like ours, which has a substantial agri-sector, a unique opportunity to influence the outcome of the CAP negotiations.
“Voting Yes will maintain goodwill and our standing within the European Union and put our negotiators in the greatest possible position to deliver the best outcome for Irish farmers under the new CAP programme.
“A Yes vote in the Stability Treaty will demonstrate Ireland’s commitment to recovery to investors and future trading partners. I strongly believe a Yes vote is in the best interest of the agri-food sector.”