If the EPP are really ‘4 farmers’ then they should abandon Mercosur says Labour MEP candidate Niamh Hourigan

18 April 2024

Labour Ireland South candidate Niamh Hourigan has called out Fine Gael’s lack of vision or ambition for Irish farmers.

Tomorrow (Friday, 19th April), the European People’s Party, of which Fine Gael is a leading light, is hosting an event in Carlow where EPP Vice Chair Siegfried Muresan will outline an EPP vision for agriculture.

Hourigan has called out the lack of leadership from Fine Gael, asking why that vision for agriculture still includes Merocsur?

Hourigan said:

“The EPP are bringing their latest jamboree to  woo Ireland’s farmers in Carlow tomorrow, but how can they credibly face them when their leader Ursula Von der Leyen is throwing them under the bus by pushing forward with the Mercosur deal?

“Von der Leyen, the Leader of the EPP, has set a deadline of the end of 2024 to get Mercosur over the line.

“The deal, which would effectively throw Irish farmers to the wolves, remains within reach, according to Von Der Leyen.

“While she states that her ambition is to settle any remaining differences as soon as possible, it’s clear to everyone farming in Ireland that these differences will only be solved if the deal is torn up and committed to history as a failed idea.

“This deal, which is being pushed by the EPP, will decimate the Irish beef industry by allowing 99,000 tonnes of South American beef into Europe.

“The farmers who produce this beef do not have to meet the same requirements in terms of traceability, animal welfare and health and safety than Irish farmers have to meet.

“Even worse, beef production in South America is responsible for 65% of tropical deforestation.

“The EU is asking Irish farmers to set aside land for nature restoration but incentivizing farmers in South America to destroy habitats. It simply doesn’t stack up. It’s not credible and it should not be supported by any Irish MEP.

“How can Seán Kelly, Siegfried Musesan or any member of the EPP credibly say that they are ‘4 Farmers’ when they are pushing this deal so quickly over the line?”

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