Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2013-01-17-Speech-4-094-000"

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"Mr President, to date these talks has been unsuccessful, and of course we are grateful this morning to the Commissioner for bringing us up to date on where they now stand. Commissioner, you have indicated this morning that the talks are soon to reach a stage where you will have to decide on whether to exchange offers in terms of market access for goods, services and public procurement agreements. This morning I want to remind you that the potential impact of this trade agreement for Northern Ireland and other countries which rely on agriculture and especially the beef sector could indeed be devastating. Some have estimated that such an agreement would cost the EU agriculture upwards of EUR 13 billion – a high price to pay indeed. Commissioner, I want to have your assurance this morning that agriculture will not be sacrificed when you start or make the decision on market access officers. You said specifically in your opening statement this morning that you want a balanced, ambitious and comprehensive agreement with Mercosur. Can you give us and the farmers that I represent in Northern Ireland an assurance that, in the harsh economic climate which they face – with rising input costs, static farm gate prices and lower profit margins on top of a potentially reduced CAP budget and a Commission proposal which puts little emphasise on food production – you will step in to protect farmers in Northern Ireland and across the EU?"@en1

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