Concern at Mercosur deal fall-out - McGlone

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SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has said there is growing concern over the potential impact of the proposed EU-Mercosur trade deal will have on local farmers and the environment.

The SDLP party spokesperson on farming and agriculture was speaking after the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, faced questions in the Dáil about the trade agreement.

Mr McGlone said: “While it has still to be officially ratified the current proposed agreement will open the EU market for agriculture products, and beef in particular, to large scale producers in South America at preferential tariffs.

“The importation of cheaper beef from such large operations risks distorting an already precarious marketplace for local producers across the EU, the result of which would be to drive small scale family farms here on the island of Ireland out of business due to a lack of return on their investment in production.”