MP slams NI protocol on livestock import rules ‘unacceptable and unconstitutional’

Newry and Armagh DUP MP William Irwin has said the processes involved in upholding the Northern Ireland Protocol place a “significant financial burden on farmers” which he considers “unacceptable and unconstitutional”.

Mr Irwin commented: “It is simply unacceptable for a farmer to be subjected to the ridiculous checks, paperwork and financial burdens associated with re-identifying animals leaving one part of the UK to enter another part of the UK I can see why this infuriates our farming community.

“I spoke this week with farmers who have been bringing cattle from the mainland to NI for years without any problems and now they are faced with a mountain of paperwork and costs to re-tag the animals. This is also a health and safety issue, as existing tags need to be removed and new ones fitted, which is obviously a complex process on an older animal.

William Irwin, MP for Newry and Armagh DUP, criticized the EU’s insistence on treating live animals brought into Northern Ireland from mainland Britain as ‘third country imports’.

“There are restrictions on movement for a period of 30 days after entering Northern Ireland from the mainland, this also presents logistical challenges and shows exactly why the protocol is so prohibitively expensive for the agriculture trade. ‘North Ireland.”

He added: “These draconian rules are costly, unnecessary and unworkable and must be scrapped along with the rest of the red tape and bureaucracy associated with Northern Ireland protocol. There will be no going back to the decentralized administration until that happens.”

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