EU ef­forts ‘grossly ir­re­spon­si­ble’

Irish Examiner - Farming - - MACRA -

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.”

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