Carol Nolan TD

Restoration Law Vote

– February 28 2024

Independent TD for Laois Offaly Carol Nolan has described the controversial passage of the EU’s Nature Restoration Law as a “regulatory hand grenade thrown into an already chaotic and bureaucratic EU farming sector.”

Deputy Nolan was speaking after 324 MEPs voted in favour of the law with 275 votes against and 24 abstentions.

With the exception of Independent Luke Ming Flanagan and Sinn Féin’s Chris Mac Manus, all Irish MEPs voted in favour of the proposed text which will place an obligation on all EU countries to restore at least 30% of habitats in poor condition by 2030, 60% by 2040, and 90% by 2050:

“The principle of protecting nature is something we all support; but the major difficulties I have are centred around the means through which this objective is achieved and more specifically what will the impact be on farming families, food security and the wider agricultural sector.”

“We have already seen, with the vote today, that there remains significant opposition to this law even within the EU’s own parliamentary groupings with Fine Gael MEP’s voting against the position adopted by the its European Peoples Party.”

“Closer to home we have Sinn Fein’s MEP candidate expressing her joy at the passage of the law while her own colleague in the parliament voted against it. It would be hilarious if it were not serious.”

“Have we forgotten already that only in May of last year a decision was taken by the European People’s Party to seek the removal of two flagship pieces of environmental legislation put forward by European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen?”

“This was clear evidence of a growing recognition of the enormous disconnect that exists at the heart of the EU’s green agenda.”

“In perhaps no other profession are the voices of those working on the ground ignored in the same manner that farmers are ignored. No would suggest pushing through a law on nurses or teachers that as opposed by the vast majority of nurses and teachers in EU member states.”

“This indicates to me the ongoing disdain that exists for farmers concerns irrespective of the weak voices of those who say they support them,” concluded Deputy Nolan.