Wednesday, 10 July 2019
EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement: Motion [Private Members]
Thousands of decent and honest people from all over came to protest outside the gates of Leinster House today. They are very angry. They are already squeezed by the factories and if Brexit happens, they know they will be squeezed further. It is outlandish to think the Government is considering a deal with Mercosur when it complies with no rules and regulations. The animals are not tagged or anything. There is foot and mouth disease in those countries. Against this we can see how all farmers here for at least 20 years have gone through every hoop and met the highest standards. There are inspections every day and Department vets are on top of them. They comply with every regulation so it is outlandish to think we could even consider this deal.
It is of no benefit to the people of rural Ireland, the small farmers and the decent people from Kerry and all over the country who came to protest outside the gates of Leinster House today. Why would the Government even consider it when it is of no benefit to those people? It will hurt them, drive them into the ground and finish them. All those people want to do is to continue what their fathers did before them, to carry that on and hand the farm down to the generation following them in a slightly better condition. This Government has not helped farmers with the factories and is going to hurt them further by even entertaining this agreement. This deal is with a crowd from South America that are complying with no rules and regulations. They are breaking every rule in the book.
Commissioner Hogan had a cheek to ask Ireland to cut down production and plant more land when hundreds of acres are being cut down every day. Back in 2013, the then Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy Coveney, told farmers to increase production. What kind of a crowd is the Government? The truth is that the Government is supporting Hogan.