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IFA: Brexit uncertainty must rule beef out of trade talks

Staff Writer |
Irish farmers’ union the IFA has said that uncertainty over Brexit means the EU should exclude beef from the Mercosur trade deal with South American nations.

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Following reports this week that beef may be included in the trade deal, IFA President Joe Healy said, “The stark reality is that without the UK market, the EU beef sector would become 116% self-sufficient and there is simply no room for any additional beef imports. The EU Commission must insist that beef is excluded from the Mercosur trade discussions.”

Healy said that Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed recently made it clear at a Beef Forum meeting that Ireland’s position is that beef must be excluded from any deal.

He went on, “IFA fully supports this strong stance by the Minister. As well as support from the French, Minister Creed needs to build stronger support for this position with EU colleagues.”

The IFA boss said the EU Commission’s own cumulative impact study on trade deals has shown that beef is extremely exposed and a very sensitive sector.

Major EU beef producers, including Spain, France and Italy have been vocal in their opposition to this element of the trade deal.

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