Sinn Féin has called on rural and farming organisations to “engage in the conversation” in relation to any reunification of Ireland discussions.

Chris MacManus, a Sinn Féin member of the European Parliament (MEP), was speaking at the Erris Agricultural Show in Belmullet, Co. Mayo.

He said: “Brexit has had a profound impact on many sectors, across the island of Ireland.

“Indeed, as a result of the long standing tradition between Ireland and Britain, the Irish agri-food sector is one of the most exposed to the impacts of Brexit.

“The conversation around the reunification of Ireland is growing, with more and more sectoral interests beginning to engage to ensure their concerns are known and heeded,” MacManus added.

The Ireland Midlands-Northwest MEP said that the agriculture sector may have the most to gain from a united Ireland.

“It is my view that one sector that could potentially be the biggest beneficiary is the farming and agricultural sector,” he commented.

“Along with this, I believe in a new and united Ireland that rural dwellers and farming will benefit from, provided the appropriate governance structures are put in place.”

MacManus suggested that farm organisations would be able to get the most out of reunification for farmers by taking part the public debate on the issue.

“Therefore I believe it is absolutely crucial for farming representative groups to engage in the conversation to ensure that they maximise the benefits that reunification could have for the sector,” the Sinn Féin representative said.

Sinn Féin on Mercosur

Last week, MacManus sounded a warning on the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA), saying that it poses “an existential threat to Irish farmers and environment”.

MacManus hit out at Brussels in its new attempt to force through the FTA.

The EU and the Mercosur bloc of South American economies are aiming to finalise the trade deal this year.

Both the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the Brazilian President Lula da Silva recently reaffirmed their commitment to ratify the agreement “as soon as possible”.

However, MacManus said: “This agreement would allow for an additional 99,000t of beef from the South American trade association to enter the EU tariff-free. Any such deal would saturate our market at the expense of Irish farmers.”