Sinn Féin spokesperson on agriculture, Matt Carthy, has called on the government to tell the European Union that it intends to veto the Mercosur trade deal.
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The Cavan–Monaghan TD said that it is unacceptable the deal between the EU and Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay remains an open prospect.

It would allow for the importation of 100,000 additional tonnes of beef into the EU market from the South American countries.

Deputy Carthy claimed that if the Irish government fails to immediately end further progress of the deal, the coalition parties will lose all creditability on their climate rhetoric.

“It is beyond ironic that, while in Ireland, there has been a sustained discussion on the role of agriculture in our domestic carbon emissions, the Brazilian meat industry was unveiling plans to increase the cattle herd there by 6.5 million in order to meet projected export demand.

“This increase represents the equivalent of this state’s entire beef and dairy herd,” he explained.

CAP Strategic Plan minister Matt Carthy turf sale meat plants matt carthy sinn fein meat plants
Deputy Matt Carthy

Carthy noted that EU Commissioner for the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevicius has indicated he expects the deal to advance by the end of this year.

“Irish farmers can and must take measures to reduce emissions. But we cannot expect those actions to be taken while the European Commission is preparing to sign off on a trade deal that will undo any positive impact of our domestic actions,” he continued.

“Due to pressure from farm organisations and Sinn Féin, government ministers have told the Dáil that they are now opposed to the EU-Mercosur trade deal. But, it appears that they have yet to tell the European Commission.

“Ireland has a veto on this trade deal, and the government must inform the EU that we intend to use it and thereby end any further progress on this disastrous agreement.

“Otherwise, government parties will lose all credibility on their recent Climate Action rhetoric,” Carthy said.

“The Mercosur trade deal offers nothing positive for Ireland. It is bad for our most important indigenous sector, bad for our overall economy and disastrous for the environment.

“It must be rejected, now,” the Sinn Féin agriculture spokesperson concluded.

An 85-year-old inspiration, Margaret Thompson heads into Maleny Buffalo’s dairy every day to keep her late husband Mal’s legacy alive.

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