Erne East Councillor Sheamus Greene remains fearful in light of Tory Minister Michael Gove’s latest statement on the future of agriculture post Brexit.

Speaking at the National Farmers' Union conference last month, the Environment secretary admitted that farmers may never recover from a no-deal Brexit.

Councillor Greene said: "Few professions take a longer-term view than farmers. The agricultural industry in the North needs to invest and produce for the long term. Unlike some politicians, farming requires patience and foresight to plan years ahead.

“Tory Brexiteer Michael Gove supported by Arlene Foster and the DUP admitted in his latest statement that farmers may never recover from a no deal Brexit. Even with a Brexit deal, Gove and his Brexiteer colleagues are hell bent on cutting all farm subsidies and rural development support from farmers in the North. This is in stark contrast to the Irish Republic, where the farming and rural communities are being protected and enhanced.

“The DUP and Tory plan to eliminate all farm and rural support, was never clearer than when a DUP agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen cut the ANC payment to farmers in the less favoured areas which had been in existence since 1959. It remains a case of great debate amongst hill farmers as to the DUP’s real motives for doing this.

Councillor Greene has called on the Irish Government to use their influence in the ongoing negotiations to protect the farming and rural communities in Northern Ireland.

“We cannot allow a scenario where Southern farmers are getting the full benefits for EU funding while rural communities in the north are left at the mercy of the free market ultra-right wing Brexiteers, whose only concern is making huge profits for big business.”