Fianna Fáil T.D. Mayo has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to ensure Irish farmers’ interests are top of his agenda before ratification of any trade deal with South America
Speaking on the matter Deputy Chambers said “No trade deal with South America should be progressed until we know the full impact of Brexit for Ireland and the EU”
“This deal has taken almost 20 years to negotiate and Irish farmers have made their concerns very clear by opposing it at every turn,” she said
“The deal has always had the potential to damage Irish farming but combined with the possible loss of trade in the British market as a result of Brexit, Mercosur could prove catastrophic,” she said
“This deal will see 99,000 tonnes of South American beef allowed into the European market every year. This will have a huge impact on prices, at a time when beef farmers here are already to the pin of their collars” she stated.
“Furthermore, South America is clearing rainforest to make way for the production for beef that we don’t need. It makes no sense environmentally considering we are in the middle of a climate emergency. Not to mention the carbon footprint transporting South American beef thousands of kilometres across to Europe,” she said.
“There is no question that this deal will have a detrimental impact on the environment. On one hand the government and the EU talk about reducing our carbon footprint to mitigate climate change and on the other they negotiate a deal that completely contradicts that,” she continued.
“The Minister knows this is a bad deal for Ireland and he needs to engage with his European counterparts to delay ratification until that we assess the full impact of Brexit. We know Brexit poses a serious threat to agriculture and Agri food and we must deal with that first.” she stated.
“Brexit is already impacting on Irish farmers and the Mercosur deal will place farmers in a very vulnerable position having to compete with cheap South American beef post-Brexit,” she said.