Ireland may not have a veto on the EU-Mercosur trade deal

The Irish Government may not have a veto on the widely-disputed EU-Mercosur trade deal that has sent shock waves throughout farming communities and the wider agricultural industry over the last 24 hours.

Last night, farm lobby groups, meat industry Ireland and agricultural and rural politicians responded with fury, deep concern and disbelief to the announcement from Brussels that political agreement had been reached between the sides to increase the quota level of low-priced South American beef on the EU market by 99,000t.

In the run up to the announcement multiple calls were made for the Irish Government to veto an agreement that would cause serious ruptures to Irish beef farming, however, AgriLand now understands that such an option may not be on the table.

When is comes to the next stages of the EU-Mercosur trade deal it is understood that Ireland may not have a veto in Europe as there is no guarantee that the process will make its way through national parliaments at member state level.

Next Steps

As it stands, the stages of the process – anticipated to take a number of years – will involve a series of steps including: political agreement (reached last night, Friday, June 28); legal scrubbing (one-two years); the commission may then provisionally apply areas of competence (trade in goods or sanitary and phytosanitary measures); approval by European Council (which comprises qualified majority voting – in other words no veto).

At that stage the commission will say if it must be ratified by member state parliaments, this may occur if the commission believes that the deal goes beyond trade – in other words, if it needs broader political co-operation.

The final stages will include approval by the European Parliament and approval by member state parliaments if applicable.