Liadh Ní Riada MEP challenges Deirdre Clune on Fine Gael's TTIP hypocrisy
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has challenged Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune over her party's hypocrisy on TTIP, and questioned her reasons for supporting the controversial trade deal.
Liadh Ní Riada said:
“Last week Deirdre Clune issued a statement that raised concerns about the Mercosur trade agreement, currently being negotiated between the EU and the South American countries that comprise the trade bloc. Her contention is that this proposed agreement will be bad for Irish agriculture.
“Deirdre is correct to be cautious, however given her party's ongoing support for the much more dangerous TTIP trade agreement, I must question her reasons for urging caution on one deal, whilst supporting another. This points to a level of hypocrisy that cannot go unchallenged.
“Less than a year ago Fine Gael's four MEPs voted in favour of the continuation of the secretive negotiations between the EU and the United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In a rare display of unity the four MEPs issued a statement championing the proposed agreement.
“Sinn Féin have consistently raised concerns over the trade deal, which amongst other things would harm Irish farmers, as well as potentially weakening our laws on food safety standards, workers' rights and environmental protection.
“Independent economic advice, sought and paid for by the Irish Government, shows that TTIP would cost Ireland's beef sector between €25 – 45 million. This sector supports over 100,000 family farms and TTIP would see the EU market flooded with inferior quality, and cheaper, US-origin beef.
“The beef sector has been removed from the Mercosur negotiations, however the very real threat from TTIP remains. I am challenging Deirdre Clune and her colleagues in Fine Gael to stand with Irish farmers and to come out in opposition to TTIP.”