Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-07-08-Speech-4-097"

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"Mr President, there was wisdom in my decision to hold back my contribution until I heard what I hoped would be answers. I noted the time that the Commission took – longer than any of us here in this Chamber – and I regret that I did not get specific answers to five very direct questions. On the mandate, let me say that a mandate dating back to 1999 is way out of date and indeed most of the current Parliament would not have been around in 1999. Go back to the drawing board. The last speaker addressed some of the points that I would wish to make. As you did not address the impact assessment, other than telling us you have done an assessment, let me talk to you about some of the impacts on our agricultural producers. The Mercosur Meat Forum, which represents Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, urged the negotiators not to waste an extraordinary opportunity for them. Contrast that to the delight, or rather to the fear and trepidation and anger, among EU producers. What will happen is there will be job losses across rural Europe and a reduction in our food production capacity. Look at the impacts of this on the environment, where Europe regards itself as a leader in terms of climate change, land tenure problems in these countries, the chopping down of forests, the impact on indigenous populations and forced labour, and specifically on beef. For those of you who do not realise it, this is an attack on the high-quality end of our beef market. If we undermine that part of our market, we will destroy beef production and the market in the European Union. The US and Japan will not do a deal because they protect their producers and the high standards they value. This Parliament imposes high standards of food production on our producers. We have failed to defend them in the past. The Commission has been found wanting, and we cannot allow an agreement of this sort to happen to the detriment of EU production at a time when we are reforming our agricultural policy. There is no consistency between agriculture and trade policy. This Parliament has to insist that there will be."@en1

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