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Still time for Government to protect Mayo farming families – Conway-Walsh

4 July, 2019 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Mayo Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said there is still time for the Government to defend Irish beef farmers, but it means they have to move fast and speak directly in defence of Irish farming families.

Senator Conway-Walsh spoke directly to Fine Gael Minister Heather Humphreys who came into the Seanad to defend the Mercosur deal, saying:

“The EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement will seriously damage an already struggling Irish beef industry and our rural communities.

“The farming and agri-food sectors, which already face enormous difficulties as a result of Brexit, will be put under even greater threat as a result of a deal which opens the EU up to cheap beef imports from South America.

“What has been agreed to date is only a political agreement, it still has to be turned into a legal document.

“This process will take approximately two years. It will then be brought to a vote at the Council of Ministers.

“Ireland does not have a veto because voting is done on a Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) and not unanimously.

“These changes came in as a consequence of the Nice and Lisbon treaties. Sinn Féin opposed these treaties, warning at the time of the dangers to Irish agriculture.

“I am asking Minister Ring to use the political clout that he so often talks about to save Mayo farming families. Tell an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to oppose this. Tell him to talk to his European allies and tell him to make sure this deal is stopped.” 

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