Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, warned that the imminent deal around Mercosur is a major threat to the beef sector in Cavan and Monaghan.
He explained, “It is being strongly reported that a deal is imminent, with the EU rumoured to be willing to give additional access to South American beef. This will have negative consequences for our Irish market and exports.
“It has been mooted that up to 100,000 tonnes of beef access had been agreed to and informally agreed at EU level with Mercosur countries.
“This Fine Gael led government has failed to put up any real fight at European level and accepted the Commission’s offer of at least 70,000 extra tonnes of South American Mercosur beef into Europe back in Autumn 2017. Now, two years on this has grown to 100,000.
“The government is writing letters this week to EU leaders to save face regarding the negative impact Mercosur will have on our beef sector. The government have not been to the forefront on this deal, despite the present Agriculture Commissioner being a former Fine Gael TD.
“The beef sector is already on its knees. A no deal Brexit is looming which will only add to the difficulties my constituents in the Agri-sector face. If the deal comes to pass with the estimated tonnes spoken about it will be the death knell of beef farming in Ireland,” concluded Deputy Smith.