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EU leaders under fire on Mercosur beef proposals

Staff Writer | August 15, 2017
EU plans to negotiate on beef with the South American Mercosur bloc have prompted a backlash from MEPs and farmers’ groups.
Mercosur beef
Trade talks   Brexit complicated the talks
Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness said that Brexit complicated the talks and that there was still “work to be done” before a beef offer should be tabled.

“Any potential offer by the EU must take account of the sensitive nature of beef not just for Ireland but also for France and the EU in general,” Ms McGuinness said.

“There is the additional complication that the EU continues to negotiate for 28 member states until such time as the UK leaves the EU in March of 2019. This is another issue which will need to be take account of.”

The Irish Farmers’ Association voiced concerns again last week following reports in the Farming Independent that the EU is ready to table a beef offer as soon as October.

“The stark reality is that without the UK market, the EU beef sector would become 116pc self-sufficient and there is simply no room for any additional beef imports,” said IFA president Joe Healy.

“The EU Commission must insist that beef is excluded from the Mercosur trade discussions.”