… a proposed deal between Brussels and South America continues to stall…
EU humiliated: Huge Brussels deal 'grinds to halt' BEFORE Brexit trade talks start
By Charlie Bradley, EXPRESS (UK)
Feb 13, 2020
THE EUROPEAN UNION has prepared for Brexit trade talks by taking a stern approach towards the UK - but while Prime Minister Boris Johnson aims to get the upper hand, a proposed deal between Brussels and South America continues to stall.
The continent’s EU equivalent – Mercosur – ended negotiations with the EU in June 2019 after 20 years of talks, but while the deal is all-but agreed it has not been signed, finalised or ratified. The deal, known as the European Union-Mercosur free trade agreement, would see Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina open their markets to the 27 EU member states but progress appears to have stalled as Brussels prepares to enter trade talks with the UK in March. The Mercosur deal, if finalised, would represent the largest trade deal struck by both the EU and Mercosur in terms of citizens involved and forms part of a wider Association Agreement between the two blocs, currently under negotiation.
The deal may be lucrative for big businesses if put into place, but it has also come under fire from farmers in countries with strong agricultural sectors, including France and Ireland.
With the Amazon Rainforest now the hub of Brazil’s beef production, farmers in European countries worry that a surge in beef imports on Europe’s side could cast them aside.
The Irish Farmers Association said on its website last year that the deal with Mercosur “would have a severe impact on Irish and European farmers, who are already struggling from the impact of Brexit and falling consumption levels”.
The Amazon is also at the centre of criticism because of the devastating environmental impact that beef production in the region is already having, with the new EU deal risking more damage.
Despite this, Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has claimed it is a “fallacy” to describe the Amazon as the heritage of humanity and a “misconception” that its forests are the lungs of the world.
On the criticism, he added: