Longford-Westmeath Deputy, Willie Penrose, has been appointed Labour spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Rural Affairs, and Social Protection.
In accepting the position, Deputy Penrose said he is “very proud to represent the rural community” and that he is “looking forward to engaging with the sector” to produce effective policy. “I also look forward to engaging with the various organisations and advocates in the Social Protection area, and devising new policies addressing specific issues that have arisen in this important portfolio,” he said.
Deputy Penrose this week raised the issue of Brexit and the significant negative impacts on Ireland’s agri-food sector in Dáil Éireann. He questioned the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Michael Creed, on his plans to safeguard the sector.
Deputy Penrose said: “As a Longford-Westmeath TD, I am fully aware that Brexit is an issue of enormous concern to those in rural Ireland and in particular to those in the agri-food sector.
“Britain represents Ireland’s most important agri-food export market, accounting for more than 40 per cent of agricultural exports. Local farmers and interest groups will be directly affected by the UK’s recent EU exit and so they must be consulted and protected.”