Leyden wants ‘Lisbon’ debate

Senator Terry Leyden has again called for a full debate in Seanad Eireann on the Lisbon European Reform Treaty and noted that the Irish Farmers’ Association have very legitimate concerns about the European Commission’s current stance in world trade negotiations.   Senator Leyden said ‘I am very concerned about this week’s protest by the IFA at the European Commission offices in regard to the negotiations at the world trade talks in Geneva and the fact Peter Mandelson seems to be a runaway train as far as they are concerned.   ‘He has given concessions which will affect farming in the future.  If we lose the farming vote for the Lisbon reform treaty, it will be defeated. Farmers are very concerned about this issue. Will the Leader of the house ask the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to come to the House to discuss her views on the concessions proposed by Peter Mandelson which will see a 70% cut in the tariffs on beef, zero tariffs on lamb and which will result in halving the cost of the production of beef? The Cathaoirleach will appreciate that if that happens, farming in this country will be finished.’   Meanwhile, sharing the Irish Farmer Associations concern on the future of the Irish beef industry, Sinn Féin Cllr. Martin Kenny has noted that the Lisbon Treaty, if ratified, would significantly increase EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson’s power to negotiate the future of the industry with no recourse for Irish farmers.   Councillor Kenny said, ‘I share the concerns of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) regarding EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson’s move to dilute trade barriers. However the IFA should consider the fact that the Lisbon Treaty will copperfasten such policies if it comes into being’.