Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, a veterinary surgeon, welcomed the new deal with the EU which makes significant steps to resolve issues surrounding the agrifood industry, the movement of pets and the availability of veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland.
These steps forward come after months of lobbying by Dr Hudson and his colleagues on said topics.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said: “I very much welcome this historic breakthrough by the Prime Minister which will focus on practical fixes to the problems being faced by the people of Northern Ireland.
“As the only vet in the Commons, I’m pleased the Prime Minister and his team have listened to expert advice and included specific measures on agrifood, medicines and pets. I’ve consistently raised issues with these policy areas since the original Protocol was announced.
“The new framework ensures long term availability of human medicines and a plan for veterinary medicines after the grace period ends in 2025. I will keep pressing on this point so we get long term availability of veterinary medicines in Northern Ireland.
“I welcome the arrangements for movement of pets and I will continue to work with the Government to work on equally pragmatic solutions for other species like horses and farm livestock.
“It was a privilege to raise the important issues of biosecurity, the availability of veterinary medicines directly with the Prime Minister in the House of Commons and I again congratulate him on finding a new way forward for a better future for Northern Ireland.”
Standing up in the House of Commons to question the Prime Minister following the historic breakthrough, the Cumbrian MP welcomed the Windsor Framework before asking Rishi Sunak directly about how these measures will protect biosecurity in the UK and the island of Ireland.
The PM reaffirmed the Conservative Government’s commitment to the single epidemiological zone on the island of Ireland which avoids a hard border for trade and safeguards animal and plant health.
Dr Hudson also asked the Prime Minister about the availability of veterinary medicines across the whole of the UK which, under the original protocol had put more than half of medicines at risk in Northern Ireland.
An area of Dr Hudson’s expertise, the Cumbrian MP has consistently pushed for action on the issue and welcomed the new measures which look to secure the long term supply of veterinary medicines for Northern Ireland.
The wider Framework has been heralded for delivering free flowing trade by removing the border in the Irish Sea, safeguarding Northern Ireland’s place in our Union, and restoring sovereignty for the people of Northern Ireland by eliminating the democratic deficit.
In the Chamber, Dr Hudson asked: “I very much welcome the Windsor Framework, and can I congratulate the Prime Minister and his team for securing this historic agreement?
“Can my Right Honourable Friend confirm that the very sensible and pragmatic veterinary and sanitary and phytosanitary arrangements within the framework will protect both the UK’s and the island of Ireland’s biosecurity?
“And can the Prime Minister reaffirm that the long-term availability of medicines in Northern Ireland will very much ultimately include veterinary medicines?”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak replied: “Lots in there Mr Deputy Speaker, but he’s right; there have been long-standing arrangements in place to protect biosecurity on the island of Ireland and indeed, the respect that the UK has had for the single epidemiological zone on that island.
“We will continue to respect all of those things. Nothing in this framework changes that. That’s something that everyone has agreed with in the past. No one has objected to it and it’s right that we continue to move forward with those procedures.”
The Windsor Framework in full is available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-windsor-framework