Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (408)

Charlie McConalogue


408. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the timeline for an updated impact assessment to be carried out by the European Commission following the 2016 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 impact of 99,000 tonnes of increased Mercosur beef quota; and if the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development is the lead Commission directorate for this impact assessment. [46080/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

Given the conclusion of several trade agreements since the 2016 cumulative impact assessment and the UK’s decision to leave the EU, I have requested the European Commission to update the 2016 cumulative impact assessment to take full account of all developments since.

The 2016 assessment, which was 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. I believe an updated analysis is warranted, particularly against the backdrop of the potentially very negative additional impact of Brexit on the beef sector.

I have raised the issue with Commissioner Hogan, and he has confirmed to me that work on an updated cumulative impact assessment is currently underway in the Commission and that it should be published in 2020.

These cumulative impact assessments involve input from a number of Commission services (including DGs Agri and Trade as well as the Commission’s Joint Research Centre). I can assure the Deputy that I will continue to press the Commission for the most expeditious conclusion of the impact assessment.