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UK 'Wants To Have Its Beef And Eat It' in Argentina

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Conservative government ‘used to getting hands dirty in Latin America’ union says.

The UK Government wants to ‘have its beef and eat it’ while pursing back door deals in South America, says GMB.

A British minister is currently in Argentina, one of the world’s biggest exporters of beef, attempting to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal with the country – at the same time the Government is deep in talks on a separate deal with the South American common market.

Greg Hands is in Buenos Aires to promote British business with a view to signing a free trade deal with the South American republic post-Brexit.

His visit coincides with the latest round of talks on the giant EU-Mercosur (South American Common Market) free trade deal that is also being held in Buenos Aires and is also being supported by the British Government.

Mr Hands is going to Brazil as well, where he intends to be a salesman for British mining interests as part of his pitch for yet another free trade deal.

To coincide with the Mercosur talks, a European trade union delegation is in town for a summit with its counterparts from the Southern Cone to discuss how best to oppose a free trade agreement that, as usual, will only be of benefit to multinational companies seeking to maximise their profits on both sides of the Atlantic.

Speaking from Buenos Aires Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, said:

“The EU-Mercosur free trade agreement is a huge deal with a market of nearly 300 million people that hardly anyone in Britain will have heard of despite it supposedly being negotiated on their behalf.

“As usual, European negotiators will pay no heed to environmental degradation and human rights violations committed by illegitimate governments in Brazil and Paraguay, not to mention the social crisis that is unfolding in Argentina.

“Unsurprisingly, Britain’s Tory government wants to have its beef and eat it by backing the Mercosur deal while simultaneously negotiating back-door bilateral agreements with its constituent republics for post-Brexit Britain.

“Neither deal is in the interests of working class people on either side of the Atlantic - but then the Tories never worried about getting their hands dirty given that they uncritically supported British trade with South American dictatorships back in the dark days of the 1970s and 80s.”

ENDS

Contact: GMB press office on 07958 156846 or press.office@gmb.org.uk

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