The Government has lost a vote on a motion calling for the Dáil to reject the Mercosur deal.

The motion was put forward by Sinn Féin and it called on the Government to use all legal and political means available to frustrate and thwart the Mercosur deal. The vote took place on Thursday 11 July.

Fianna Fáil had indicated it would vote against the Government meaning its passage through the Dáil had been widely anticipated. During a debate on the motion after a protest by the Beef Plan Movement, Sinn Féin agriculture spokesperson Brian Stanley called for all parties to reject the deal.

He said the deal was a bad deal for Ireland, a bad deal for farmers and a bad deal for the environment.

“Earlier [on Wednesday] outside the Dáil, we had both farmers and environmentalists standing side-by-side to tell this Government that it has it all wrong on Mercosur,” he said.

Step back

Minister for business Heather Humphreys had called for everyone to step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Minister Humphreys said a comprehensive, independent, environmental and economic assessment would be carried out on Mercosur.

“We need to look at the deal in the round, that’s what economic assessment will do, so the Government can make a fully informed decision on the deal in two years’ time. Until we have sight of a final legal text on it, we couldn’t accept this Sinn Féin motion,” she said.

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