EU trade deal with South America could be ‘catastrophe’ for Kilkenny farmers: TD
THE proposed EU trade deal with South America could be “catastrophic” for local farmers, a Kilkenny TD has warned.
Deputy Bobby Aylward spoke out after Irish farmers’ organisations expressed outrage over the announcement that negotiators from the European Union and the South American Mercosur trading block have agreed a trade deal that will “greatly damage Irish farming”.
He urged the Government to ensure Irish farmers interests are represented in Europe.
The Kilkenny TD said: “The Government needs to oppose, in the strongest sense, any ratification of the Mercosur deal. While we know that Brexit will be bad for Ireland we do not know what the full impact will be and wont for some time. In light of this the Government must put the brakes on this deal.”
Under the proposed deal, some 99,000 tonnes of South American beef will be allowed into the European market every year.
Deputy Aylward (pictured below) said this will have “a huge impact” on prices, at a time when Irish beef farmers “are already to the pin of their collars”.
He added: “It has taken almost 20 years to negotiate and Irish farmers have opposed the proposals in it every step of the way. The deal has always had the potential to harm Irish farming but combined with the possible loss of trade in the British market as a result of Brexit, Mercosur could prove catastrophic.”