Creed ‘not throwing in the towel’ on Mercosur

Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, has said that he “isn’t throwing in the towel” on the EU-Mercosur trade agreement.

The minister also told the Dáil yesterday, Wednesday, July 3, that he would try to “frustrate and thwart the ambition” of the deal.

He added that the Mercosur countries’ record on climate change and environmental issues “can be used to our advantage” in trying to influence the direction of the deal.

But there is a very significant element in the proposed deal on climate, and if we can use that to frustrate and thwart the ambition of Mercosur, to make sure [the deal] is legally robust – and their well-documented climate disregard can be used to our advantage – that’s one area.

Minister Creed went on to call for cross party efforts to achieve this, telling Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill: “We have considerable time to influence the shape, reinforcements and guarantees that we can secure and, in that context, I think that if we can find common cause in that endeavour, we may make progress.

“Collectively, the challenge now is, in the area of beef, to make progress to diminish the ambition [behind the deal],” he added.

The minister told TDs that it was his “responsibility…to ensure that everything is done to frustrate, to mitigate and to dismantle the ambition and to protect the interests of the Irish sector”.

It’s a deal at a high political level that hasn’t been endorsed by a single member state or national parliament, European parliament, or the council of trade ministers.

The minister was also fielding Mercosur questions in the Dáil the day before, on Tuesday, July 2, where he also stressed that “this isn’t a done deal”.

“I consider there to be considerable distance to travel before we have an inked deal, and we certainly haven’t. What we have is a proposed deal, and certainly we intend to use the time between now and then to influence in whatever way,” he told the house.