Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has vowed that the Irish Government will do everything in its power to frustrate the Mercosur deal agreed last week.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Minister Creed said his mission was to pursue opportunities that would “mitigate, frustrate and diminish” the content of the Mercosur deal.

He described the deal announced by the European Commission as a “headline political agreement”.

“I take the view that there is no deal done, that there is a high-level political agreement which has not been ratified by member states, which has not been ratified by trade ministers, which has not been ratified by the European Parliament and that there is some distance to run before that becomes a reality,” he said.

“Every instrument at our disposal to frustrate the content of [the agreement] will be deployed,” he said.

Minister Creed wants to ensure that legal texts will include instruments to suspend the trade, if necessary, once the deal is in place. This could be particularly crucial for the environmental aspect, he pointed out.

“It has been expressed by some that the environmental chapter is useless and that Brazil’s commitment to the environment is questionable,” he said.


“I think it is questionable. And therefore I think that the fact that there is an environmental chapter is, in fact, something that we can use to our advantage to say ‘listen, they’re not complying’ and, to use the Commission’s own words, ‘therefore the deal falls’,” Minister Creed explained.

He was scathing of the European Commission’s decision to close the deal last week.

“There is an outgoing Commission which, in my view, overstepped its brief in respect of doing a deal at death’s door for the outgoing Commission.

“That has to be questioned by an incoming Commission, and I consider it my mission during whatever term – and any other minister that might follow me … to frustrate the ambition that’s in the deal in every way possible,” he added.

Close contact

Minister Creed said he would continue to have close contact with other European countries that were concerned about the deal, citing the letter recently signed by An Taoiseach, French president Emmanuel Macron, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Belgian prime minister Charles Michel.