Waterford unanimous in opposition to Mercosur deal – McGuinness

IMG_3439Sinn Féin councillor Conor D. McGuinness has welcomed unanimous backing for his motion opposing the controversial Mercosur trade deal between the EU and a number of South American countries.

McGuinness said:

“There has been strong and vocal opposition to the proposed Mercosur Trade Deal over recent months, with serious concerns expressed by prominent environmental experts and campaigns, by the Irish and European trade union movements, and by farmers representatives across Europe including the ICSA, ICMSA and IFA;

“The proposed Mercosur Free Trade Deal, if passed, will have a detrimental impact on the environment, on workers’ rights and conditions, and on Irish agriculture;

“Food, environmental and labour standards are generally better in Ireland and the EU than those in the Mercosur bloc. Any trade agreement should raise and not lower these standards across both Europe and South America;

“Sourcing food, supplies and employment locally is important to strengthening local economies, meeting local needs and addressing the causes of climate change. The proposed deal must not impact on local authorities’ ability to act in the best interests its communities.

“Dáil Éireann recently passed a similar motion as have a number of local authorities across the state. The Government must take heed and call a halt to this damaging and destructive deal.”

Full text of the motion:

That Waterford City & County Council writes to the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney TD and Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee TD and to MEP’s to raise concerns that the proposed Mercosur Free Trade Deal will have a detrimental impact on the environment, on workers’ rights and conditions, and on Irish agriculture; and to outline the Council’s view that any trade agreement should raise and not lower food, environmental and labour standards across both Europe and South America.