Government ‘likely to lose Mercosur vote’ – IFA

The Government is likely to lose a motion scheduled to be put to the Dáil this week on the EU-Mercosur Agreement, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

According to IFA president, Joe Healy, Fianna Fáil has confirmed that it will vote against the deal in the motion, set to be tabled by Sinn Féin today, Wednesday, July 10.

This follows a “lobby day” of TDs and senators on the matter by the farm organisation yesterday, according to the group.

The IFA claims that the Government will be defeated on the matter and the Dáil will have indicated its opposition to the deal.

During the Dáil debate, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, confirmed that the EU Mercosur deal is a “mixed” agreement, requiring the involvement of Dáil Eireann in its ratification process.

Commenting on this, Healy said: “Minister Humphreys confirmed that the trade deal will have to come before Dáil for ratification.”

Commenting on assurances from the European Commission that all Mercosur imports must meet 100% of EU requirements, the IFA president said in his view it is clear that the current beef imports of 269,000t fail this at every step.

Continuing, he added that in Brazil cattle are not tagged, there is no database and no traceability.

Hormones, beta-agonists and other growth promoters are widely available and used. These products are illegal and banned in the EU. Brazil has endemic foot-and-mouth disease.

“On environmental degradation, Brazil is burning an Amazon rainforest area the equivalent size of a football pitch every minute to make way for cattle ranching and additional beef exports,” the IFA president concluded.