Speaking in advance of the proposed vote on the Mercosur deal to be held in the Dáil this week, the President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack said, that the Mercosur agreement if implemented in its current form will do irreparable damage to the Irish model of farming which is the family farm structure and in particular the beef sector. This agreement makes an absolute joke of Irelands and the EU’s climate change credentials which have been effectively set-aside for big business.
Mr. McCormack said, that the Government have been scrambling for cover since the trade deal announcement citing so called commitments on climate change from the South Americans and economic assessments which quite honestly, farmers and the wider community do not believe and based on past history are fully justified in not believing. At this stage, I have to say that I remain concerned that our Government will support this agreement to boost the coffers of such industries as financial services at the expense of rural businesses and in particular farmers, and you would have to say, it’s a case that Dublin takes priority again. This must not be allowed to happen and the Dáil has the power to stymie this deal this week and it must vote it down.
All Irish farmers will suffer severely if Mercosur proceeds, I am calling on the Irish Government as well as the opposition to mount an EU wide campaign so that all EU Governments and our MEPS cannot ignore farmer concerns in relation to their financial sustainability and cannot stand over the situation where Irish and EU farmers have to meet exacting standards which will increase in the context of climate change and yet are expected to compete with South American product with no such standards. If national politicians think that the Paris accord will be implemented by the South Americans in the context of the Mercosur deal, they are either very naïve, they ignore history or are simply ignoring the facts so that big business can prosper.
Irish farmers are fed up at this stage of listening to platitudes from politicians regarding their support for farmers and rural areas, we need them to support rural Ireland now in its time of need. Mercosur, Mr. McCormack said, represents a key decision for our Government and National politicians. They either reject this deal on the basis that it will severely undermine farmers, rural Ireland and its environmental credentials or they abandon us concluded Mr. McCormack.
Ends 10 July 2019
Pat McCormack 087-7608958
ICMSA Head Office 061-314677