Thursday, June 16, 2005

"Polish farmers did not even know what a spud was" - Paisley

MP Ian Paisley asked Secretary of State Jack Straw at the House of Commons: "The Foreign Secretary will no doubt be aware that an announcement was recently made to the farmers that the CAP had been secured after a mid-term review. Is he suggesting that the process will be reopened and that the farmers will not know their future, bearing it in mind that agriculture is the mainstay of our economy in Northern Ireland?" He latter said: "Now, suddenly, the farming community is asking us what is going to happen. We are alarmed about that. The Government must keep faith with the farming community because farming is in difficulty. I hear a lot of talk about Poland and the fact that it will be a threat to the farmers of those states that were in the economic Union first. Not many people know that Poland leads the world in the production of strawberries, and is about to take over the raspberry business as well. Before we know it, Poland might take over the carrot business too, and maybe try the spud business, even though Polish farmers did not even know what a spud was. When such countries get their produce on to the market, our farmers will have many more difficulties. We need to face up to that."

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