Ming on Mercosur: ‘Hypocrisy and betrayal of EU farmers’

The recently announced draft EU/Mercosur trade deal has been described as “the ultimate hypocrisy and betrayal of farmers and the wider rural economy”, by a Midlands North-West MEP.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan said the deal is “trading off farmers and the wider public goods they deliver for the benefit of the auto industry and ‘big pharma'”.

“We continually berate farmers for not doing enough for the environment and expect them to adhere to stringent environmental measures.

After they have bent over backwards to satisfy our demands, producing food of the highest quality and caring for the landscape, we sign off on a deal that will undermine their very livelihood.

“There is a cost implication in complying with higher standards and it is grossly unfair to ask our farmers to compete in a completely skewed playing field.

“The deal makes a mockery of our commitment on climate mitigation.”

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan

Continuing, Flanagan added: “We pontificate at both EU and national level on the need to increase our forest cover and reduce our carbon footprint; then we push through a deal that will lead to increased deforestation, importing food that is transported halfway around the world resulting in a much higher carbon footprint that what we already have.

“The hand wringing and lamenting by some at national level is disingenuous and a little late in the day,” said Flanagan.

Concluding, Flanagan said that he would be “examining all our options on this with a view to blocking its progress” until substantial amendments are made in the drafting of the final legal text.

“It is important to note that in the CETA agreement, 19% of the text was changed from the initial draft to the final text.”