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Source: Sinn Féin

7 October, 2020 – by Chris MacManus MEP

MacManus Questions Fianna Fáil’s Split Stance on Mercosur
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midland Northwest, Chris MacManus, has raised questions over Fianna Fáil’s decision to muddy its stance on Mercosur. This is in response to a vote, which took place in the European Parliament yesterday. A parliament position was adopted which said: 
[The Parliament] is extremely concerned about Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policy, which goes against the commitments made in the Paris agreement, in particular as regards combating global warming and protecting biodiversity; emphasises, in these circumstances, that the EU-Mercosur agreement cannot be ratified as it stands;
MEP MacManus commented:
“Today, Fianna Fáil’s representatives in the European Parliament decided to split their votes on the important condemnation of Mercosur, with Billy Kelleher voting in favour and Barry Andrews against.
“I cannot understand why Fianna Fáil found itself incapable of coming to a clear position on this vote, given only a few months ago they voted with Sinn Féin against Mercosur in the Dáil.”
“This kind of double speak is characteristic of the party and cannot go unchallenged. Fianna Fáil now find themselves in contrast to their partner in government, Fine Gael, who have done a u-turn regarding the Mercosur trade deal and now support Sinn Féin’s consistent position in seeking to reject the deal.” 
“Sinn Féin has been fighting for nearly two years to stop this deal being implemented, and the deal’s supporters finally seem to be running out of steam. Today’s vote of condemnation of the deal by the European Parliament was an important milestone in this battle.”
“We therefore call on all political parties to put on the record that Mercosur is not just off the table for now, but forever, there is no room for more political flip-flopping on a deal which would have such a devastating impact on our environment and family farms.”
MacManus concluded, “This is already a time of crisis for our farming communities, and to be faced with the prospect of an additional 100,000 tonnes of beef from South America entering the EU market is unthinkable.”
“Family farmers in Ireland are among the most sustainable in the world. Why should they curtail production while we import hundreds of thousands of tonnes of meat from the far end of the world where rain forests are being literally burnt to the ground to allow for expansion. It is simply ludicrous. Fianna Fáil need to follow our lead and start supporting the Irish agriculture sector.” ENDS

MIL OSI United Kingdom