All bets off as EU Parliament votes against Mercosur

All bets off as EU Parliament votes against Mercosur

IFA welcomes vote and highlights importance of Irish beef not being undermined in the marketplace by inferior products

The European Parliament has voted against the Mercosur Deal by 345 votes to 295 in a statement of opposition to a deal that has now failed the test of meeting EU standards.

Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) President Tim Cullinan welcomed the vote, which he added, “emphasises that the EU-Mercosur agreement cannot be ratified as it stands”.

“At a recent informal EU Farm Council meeting, the German Agriculture Minister Julia Klockner, who chairs the Farm Council, said she was sceptical if the Mercosur agreement could be ratified in its current format,” he said.

“Since then, a report from University of Oxford and the Nature Conservancy, says the deal fails the sustainability test and should be abandoned.

"The European Commission was explicit that Mercosur could not go ahead if Brazil failed to meet environmental standards.”

IFA’s Livestock Chairman, Brendan Golden said in June, the Dutch Parliament asked its Government to notify the European Commission (EC) that The Netherlands had withdrawn its support for the Mercosur Deal, citing an increase in unfair competition for European farmers and a lack of enforceable agreements on protection of the Amazon or prevention of illegal deforestation.

“Beef farmers in Ireland are facing huge uncertainty with Brexit fast approaching,” said Mr Golden.

“It’s critical Irish beef is not undermined in the marketplace by inferior products that do not meet the high cost production standards Irish and EU farmers implement.”