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Minister Smith Welcomes IFA Support For Lisbon Referendum

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr Brendan Smith TD, today welcomed the unanimous decision of the Executive Committee of the IFA to support a 'Yes' vote in next week's Lisbon Treaty referendum.

Minister Smith said that he hoped that following this decision, along with that of the ICMSA leadership to also support the Treaty, Irish farmers would now support a 'Yes' vote which the Minister said was "in the best interests of Irish farmers and the wider agri-food sector".

Describing membership of the EU as being 'undeniably good for Irish farmers over the past 35 years', Minister Smith said that ratifying the Lisbon Reform Treaty would "demonstrate Ireland's consistent commitment to a strong and effective European Union and would help us to secure the support of key EU partners and to build strategic alliances on major issues to this country and, not least, to Irish farmers".

Minister Smith said that Ireland's approach in an EU context was to build alliances of like-minded Member States in the face of various challenges and said that ratification of the Lisbon Treaty would greatly assist the Irish Government's efforts and would strengthen the negotiating hand of Irish Ministers.

Date Released: 03 June 2008