Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-07-08-Speech-4-078"

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"Mr President, I will try and be brief. There are real concerns about the reopening of the negotiations with Mercosur. I represent Scotland, which has extensive beef production. This is a high-cost system, and it is vital that this production system continues if Scotland is not to see much of its land area abandoned because of cheap imports flooding into the market. There is real concern that we might see our Scottish beef industry sacrificed due to the need to negotiate and agree a deal with the Mercosur countries. I would therefore like to raise a number of questions about this, which is not just a Scottish issue, but is also an issue for the Irish or French and right across Europe. In particular, I would like to ask you why there seems to have been no consultation with this Parliament and with Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture before the announcement was made. Surely, in the interests of courtesy at least, informing us ahead of the announcement would have helped try and ensure reasonable relations between Parliament and yourself on this issue. Secondly, what negotiating mandate will the negotiators have in terms of agricultural products? Can someone please tell me what they are being allowed to negotiate on? How many tonnes of beef? How much access? Is there no tariff, or are there minimum tariffs? Can someone please tell us what the mandate is? Two other points. When is an impact study going to be carried out to find out what the impact of any deal might be, regardless of its size? At the very least, we should know what the impact is before we sign up to something, especially at a time when we are renegotiating the CAP and we are deciding how future farm support is decided. The two are completely linked and therefore we need to understand what the impact will be. Finally, what involvement does the Agriculture Commissioner have on this issue? To date, we have heard very little as to what his role will be in this negotiation, and whether he is responsible for setting the mandate for your negotiators. Will this Parliament be consulted before any final agreement is reached? I would like to hear some answers to these questions."@en1

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