Irish MEP for the South Constituency Billy Kelleher has called on the Irish Government to “categorically commit to opposing” the MERCOSUR trade deal between the European Union and Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The Fianna Fáil and Renew Europe member has called it a deal that is “bad for the planet and bad for Irish farmers”, which would be “beyond absurd” for Ireland to support.
MEP Kelleher said: “It facilitates the bulldozing of the Amazon Rainforest and the forced eviction of indigenous populations to enable Brazil produce hundreds of millions of cattle to be shipped across the Atlantic to European markets”
Keller claims the deal is driven Germany, who wish to utilise the deal in order to allow German car manufacturers to sell their cars in South America.
The deal also flies in the face of the EU’s flagship food programme, the Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to encourage sustainable agriculture
“No one will ever convince me that poor quality, Brazilian beef will ever match grass-fed Irish beef,” Keller said.
“MERCOSUR would see EU markets flooded with cheap, low-quality beef from Brazil at a time when domestic beef farmers are already under pressure.
The Dáil voted against the deal in July 2019 with a count of 84 to 46, with Fianna Fáil TDs voting in favour of text that stated that the motion should be binding on all future governments.
“My party’s ministers and TDs should look back at what they voted in favour of in 2019 and stay faithful to that position while in government”, he continued.
“Trade agreements are, in general, very positive. I have consistently defended and supported other EU trade agreements because free trade is a positive. However, MERCOSUR is a poor deal for our planet and for our farmers. The Government must reject it.”