The Taoiseach and Minister Creed have been questioned in the Dáil by the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD, about the massive threat posed to Ireland's beef sector by the imminent deal around Mercosur.
He said, “It is being strongly reported that a deal is imminent, with the EU rumoured to be willing to give additional access to South American beef.”
“It has been mooted that up to 100,000 tonnes of beef access had been agreed to and informally agreed at EU level with Mercosur countries”.
The TD continued, “This Fine Gael led government has failed to put up any real fight at European level and accepted the Commission’s offer of at least 70,000 extra tonnes of South American Mercosur beef into Europe back in Autumn 2017”.
He added that “The government is writing letters this week to EU leaders to save face regarding the negative impact Mercosur will have on our beef sector.”
“This contradicts Minister Humphreys recent PQ reply where she confirmed ‘Overall, Ireland remains committed to these negotiations.”“The government is speaking out of both sides of its mouth on real commitment to beef farmers,” he said.
“I am sure the Minister would agree that if this deal was to come to pass it will have a detrimental effect on an already threatened beef sector with a no deal Brexit on the horizon.”
"I called on the Government to give an absolute assurance that it will not support any deal that involves this level of beef access in any final deal as it would tremendously undermine an already vulnerable sector in Ireland,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.
Image source: Charlie McConalogue\Facebook