The EU, the Dáil and Mercosur deal

Sir, – I take issue with the article "Spineless Dáil exposed by its rejection of trade deal" (Opinion & Analysis, July 20th). Stephen Collins writes that the democratic vote which was taken by the majority of Dáil members on July 11th to reject the EU-Mercosur deal, through a Sinn Féin-led private member's motion, came about as a result of an "uninformed decision on free trade" and that it "bodes badly for serious looming challenges".

It is obvious from the article that your columnist places “prosperity and international free trade” above all, despite the fact that Ireland has recently declared a climate emergency.

Stephen Collins “debunks” the claims that Mercosur would destroy Amazonian rainforests to make way for herds of cattle which will flood the European market with sub-standard beef, and names European Commissioner Phil Hogan as the individual who has rubbished these claims.

Your columnist neglects to refer to the illogical nonsense of rearing beef in South America for transportation across the world, and not forgetting the carbon footprint involved, for consumption in European markets that he already recognises need rationalisation.


He similarly neglects to refer to the selling of European cars with all of their emissions into the South American markets at a time when world governments are attempting to reduce private car ownership and reduce pollution levels.

Stephen Collins should realise that international free trade, globalisation and unadulterated lust for “prosperity” by global corporations are the biggest barriers to the climate action that ordinary working people now wish their politicians to tackle.

I put it to your columnist that rather than the decision of the majority of democratically elected and mandated politicians to reject the EU-Mercosur deal being “spineless and uninformed”, it was actually brave and well informed, and that this decision bodes very well for reactions to future crises, events and decisions. – Yours, etc,