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Time for government to stand up for Ireland and reject Mercosur – McDonald

10 July, 2019 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has challenged An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to “stand up for Ireland, for the environment, and to reject the Mercosur trade deal.”

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Farmers are outside the gate today protesting against the sell-out Mercosur deal. They are listening and they are watching and they want to see the government do the right thing – stand up for Ireland, for the environment, back the Sinn Féin motion and reject Mercosur.

“The Mercosur trade deal is a sell-out of family farms and of the environment. Sinn Féin has opposed it for the last five years and we are taking further action by tabling this motion next week.

“Only weeks after declaring a climate emergency in the Dáil, the Government now advances a trade deal which will pave the way for Brazilian beef to come into the EU and for German car manufacturers to flog high emission cars in South America. This flies in the face of commitments to tackle climate change.

“For farming families, the deal in and of itself will create massive difficulties, but combined with the sustained decline in beef prices, Mercosur is devastating news for farmers and the rural economy.

“This is not good enough and it now falls to the Dáil to take action. If passed, the Sinn Féin motion should be considered binding on this and future governments. The Taoiseach must use all legal and political means available to frustrate and thwart the deal. He must also ensure that a suitably competent person is nominated to defend Ireland’s interests as the next EU commissioner.” 

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