Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.27 11 Jul 2019


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Fianna Fáil has said they will vote against the Government on a Sinn Féin motion, calling for a rejection of the Mercosur deal.

The deal between the EU and Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay - known as Mercosur - will cover a population of 780 million.

Farmers claim they are being sacrificed at a time when the EU is already on the brink of losing the UK market over Brexit.

The plan would allow the South American countries to export 99,000 tonnes of beef to the EU every year.

There are 283 million cattle in Brazil and Argentina alone - compared to seven million in Ireland.

The agreement will remove the majority of tariffs on EU exports to Mercosur countries.

Over 1,000 farmers protested outside the Dáil on Wednesday against the deal.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has said the Government can still secure concessions to help struggling farmers.

"It is not a done deal in terms of the proposal.

"We should collaboratively use out intervening period over the next two years to shape the detail.

"I have made the analogy previously [...] deciding to buy a house and signing the detailed contract are very, very different realities."

Sinn Féin agriculture spokesperson Brian Stanley has called for all parties to support the motion.

He said: "The EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement is bad deal for Ireland, it's a bad deal for farmers, and it's a bad deal for the environment."

Referring to the Leinster House protests, he said: "We had both farmers and environmentalists standing side-by-side to tell this Government that it has it all wrong on Mercosur.

"Sinn Féin will not support a trade deal that would undermine Ireland's commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

"We won't support a deal that would require and facilitate the destruction of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.

"We will not support a deal which would sell-out our Irish beef farmers and accelerate a race to bottom for beef production, beef quality and workers' rights."

Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy said his party will support Sinn Féin's motion.

"We have strongly fought against this over recent times, we see the danger of this.

"We feel very much that the Government have thrown in the towel on this issue.

"And in terms of the regions - particularly the rural regions of this country - this is going to be catastrophic.

"The beef sector is being sacrificed, it is the sacrificial lamb in this regard.

"I think the Government are taking a gamble on this - but this is going to backfire badly on them.

"So we'll definitely be supporting the motion today".


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Brian Stanley Eugene Murphy Fianna Fáil Mercosur Mercosur Deal Michael Creed Sinn Féin Motion

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