EU efforts ‘grossly irresponsible’
Macra na Feirme national president James Healy has deemed the EU’s efforts to secure a trade pact with South America’s Mercosur bloc ‘grossly irresponsible’.
At an Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Europe last week, Mr Healy called for a full impact assessment of all EU trade deals.
He told the committee: “The mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles of our members are outside protesting today with the IFA over beef access into the EU under Mercosur. “Macra na Feirme support them in their efforts to highlight the absolutely detrimental impact this would have on Irish and European beef farming. “Negotiating a trade deal with South American countries that has such a potential negative impact on our largest indigenous industry is grossly irresponsible especially when the impacts of Brexit are still unknown.
“Macra na Feirme recognises the importance of successful EU trade deals, but such deals should not be made at the cost of sacrificing agriculture. We believe that a full impact assessment on all trade deals, current and prospective, must be undertaken before any deal is agreed on Mercosur.” “We need balanced trade deals that benefit European and Irish farmers. “Entering into a Mercosur with such a large quantity of the EU beef market available to countries that do not meet equivalent European standards is reckless.”