Leo Varadkar has warned that Ireland will not vote for the proposed EU-Mercosur trade agreement unless Brazil, one of the four South American parties to the deal, gets its environmental house in order, starting with the forest fires burning out of control in the Amazon. “There is no way we can tell Irish and European farmers to use fewer pesticides, less fertiliser, embrace biodiversity and plant more of their land and expect them to do it, if we do not make trade deals contingent on decent environmental, labour and product standards,” said the taoiseach. This looks like a brave and principled stance, but it is not. It is gesture politics that will cost Ireland precisely nothing and matches nicely with the government’s cause du jour: the environment. And, like so much eco-politics, it is also immensely hypocritical.
Times 25th Aug 2019 read more »