13 September 2000
Ulster farmers oppose fuel protests

by FWi staff

THE Ulster Farmers Union has become the second big farm union to oppose direct action in an bid to force the government to reduce fuel prices.

The decision to oppose blockades was made at a meeting in Belfast with hauliers and other business groups in Belfast on Tuesday (12 Sept)

Under the present circumstances all present are opposed to direct action that would inconvenience the public, said a statement.

The Northern Ireland situation is different from the rest of the UK, sharing a land border with another EU Member State.

The organisations at the meeting present represent the vast majority of industry and commerce in Northern Ireland.

Representations came from the Road Haulage Association, Petrol Retailers Association, Federation of Small Businesses, Confederation of British Industry,

Others included the Freight Transport Association, Oil Promotion Federation, NI Fishermens Federation, and Anglo-Irish Fish Producers.

The National Farmers Union of England and Wales has also refused to back the protests, saying individual members must decide whether to take part.

But the Farmers Union of Wales and the National Farmers Union of Scotland have supported the demonstrations which police say are within the law.