Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (387)

Charlie McConalogue


387. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the EU Commission has carried out an updated impact assessment following the 2016 European Commission report on the cumulative economic impact of future trade agreements on EU agriculture which was predicated on the UK remaining in the EU; if a new impact assessment will be carried out to provide for all Brexit scenarios; and the way in which 99,000 tonnes of increased Mercosur beef quota entering the EU would necessitate a new impact assessment to be completed. [29034/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The 2016 cumulative impact assessment, carried out by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, was something that Ireland, supported by France and other Member States, had called for in the context of the significant threat presented to the European agriculture sector, and particularly the beef sector, by Mercosur and other free trade negotiations. The study outlined the potentially significant negative consequences for the European beef sector, and I believe it was not adequately taken into account in the course of the Mercosur negotiations. Therefore, I believe an updated analysis is warranted, particularly against the backdrop of the potentially very negative impact of Brexit on the beef sector.

In the meantime, I welcome the fact that a comprehensive economic impact assessment from an Irish perspective will be conducted, and my Department will participate fully in this process.