IFA president Joe Healy said that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar must strongly support the tough stance taken by the French prime minister Emmanuel Macron on Mercosur. The French prime minister insisted that the negotiations would be discussed at the EU Summit and he has warned against rushing into a deal with the South American countries, including Brazil, which would damage EU agriculture, especially the beef sector.

Healy said: “The beef sector in Ireland is more important to our national economy than any other member state. The Taoiseach recently raised the danger for Irish beef farmers in the event of a Mercosur deal with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and we expect him to keep our concerns to the forefront at EU level.”