Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Marc Mac Sharry, has said the government should oppose any ratification of the Mercosur deal as it would be catastrophic for farmers in the North West.
Deputy Mac Sharry commented, “This deal has taken almost 20 years to negotiate and Irish farmers have opposed the proposals in it every step of the way. Now, the government should listen to farming concerns and oppose any ratification of the Mercosur deal as the full impact of Brexit has not yet emerged.
“This deal will see 99,000 tonnes of South American beef allowed into the European market every year destroying opportunity for Irish beef farmers.
“This deal will also have a detrimental impact on the environment. It seems ironic that on the one hand the government and the EU talks about reducing our carbon footprint to mitigate climate change, while on the other they have no issue with flying South American beef thousands of kilometres into Europe.
“Minister Creed knows that this is a bad deal for Ireland. The government have repeatedly let down farming communities across Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, and Donegal. It would be reckless to ratify this deal, even more so as the uncertainty of Brexit looms over the Agri-sector in Ireland.
“This is an exceptionally volatile period and I believe the EU should not take any decisions on this deal until the full post-Brexit scenario is known”, concluded Deputy Mac Sharry.