Tipperary farming: IFA insists on no Mercosur deal until Brexit negotiations end

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Tipperary farming: IFA insists on no Mercosur deal until Brexit negotiations end

IFA president Joe Healy

IFA President Joe Healy has said EU Commission President Jean Claude Junker and Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan must deliver on their commitment to put Ireland first in Brexit and ensure that there is no Mercosur deal on beef while Brexit remains unsorted.

"In view of the lack of progress on Brexit and our critical dependence on the UK market for beef exports, the EU cannot agree to increased beef imports from Mercosur."

Mr Healy said removing the UK market in Brexit will leave the EU beef market 116 per cent self-sufficient. 

"Increasing EU beef imports makes no sense whatsoever and the EU Commission should instruct Commissioner Malmstrom to withdraw beef from the Mercosur negotiations,” he said.

IFA national livestock chairman Angus Woods said the latest EU report from the FVO on Brazil showed that they continued to fail to meet EU standards on beef imports.

He said the FVO report was very clear that Brazil is in total breach of the EU regulations and standards in allowing the factories to carry out post mortem inspections on carcases.

Meanwahile, commenting on last Friday's UK government talks at Chequers, Mr Healy said that while there were some signs of movement by on agriculture and food, the statement fell far short of the commitments and clarity required by Irish and EU farmers.  It included a generous helping of double-think by the UK in wanting to have their cake and eat it. “We will need to see the detail of the UK white paper due next week to make a full assessment of the UK’s position.”