A major impasse at EU level is threatening to derail the passage of the controversial Nature Restoration Law until after the European elections in June or possibly until September.

The Council of the European Union is deeply divided on the law – which will require the rewetting of close to 30,000ha of Irish peatlands by 2030 – with Sweden, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Italy expressing serious reservations regarding the measure.

These opponents have recently been joined by Hungary and Slovakia – who claim the law gives Brussels too much power to dictate how member states use their land – forcing European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen to delay successive council votes on the matter.

Reacting to the delays, Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher said farmers were again being left in limbo due to the continuing political deadlock.

“It is clear that there is an impasse at European Council level when it comes to the law,” said Kelleher.

“I think it’s unlikely the Council will agree the law, of any form, until after the European elections,” he added.

“The real problem is that farmers are once again left with doubt about their future. As we have seen with the discussion of the nitrates derogation, uncertainty is the enemy of investment.”