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Mercosur Deal Collapses

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Tory Government supported damaging trade agreement with South American common market.

GMB welcomes the collapse of the EU-Mercosur trade deal yesterday which could have wiped out the UK beef industry.

Following the breakdown of the talks with the South American common market, GMB now calls upon both the European Union and the UK government to reconsider their slavish adherence to outdated free trade policies that are only of benefit to multinational corporations.

The mega-trade deal with the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay was expected to have been agreed in principle by Christmas.

But talks were scuppered by agricultural lobbies on both sides of the Atlantic.

Had the agreement become a reality, it could have potentially wiped out the beef industry in both the UK and Ireland.

As is the norm, negotiations had been conducted in such secrecy and with virtually no media coverage that the vast majority of European citizens did not even know they were being held.

As news emerged of the breakdown, demonstrators outside the Argentine parliament were brutally repressed by armed police on the orders of a Government that is so authoritarian it even banned foreign observers from attending the WTO meeting in Buenos Aires - which also collapsed without agreement this week.

Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International Officer, said:

"The collapse of the EU-Mercosur free trade negotiations is good news for workers and consumers in both Europe and South America.

“The only beneficiaries of the deal would have been transnational corporations and the illegitimate authoritarian governments of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

“The brutal attacks on defenceless protesters outside the Congress in Buenos Aires were just one more reason why there should be no dealings with Argentina not to mention the de facto dictatorship in Brazil.

“It is a scandal that the EU is prepared to publicly condemn Mercosur member, Venezuela, and unlawfully exclude them from the talks whilst simultaneously cosying up to Presidents Macri, Cartes and Temer.

“Needless to say, Theresa May's right-wing Government was in full support of EU-Mercosur, regardless of the damage it would have done to British farmers.

“GMB will continue to challenge these free trade agreements in Brussels and London.

“They are bad for our members, their jobs and their livelihoods and for the country as a whole.

“What we certainly don't need post-Brexit is Mercosur II with the UK taking the place of the European Union."


Contact:  Bert Schouwenburg on 07974251764 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

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