Remaining in the EU is the only way the UK can maintain a veto over the newly signed free trade deal between the EU and south American countries, according to Plaid Cymru’s Shadow International Relations Minister Delyth Jewell.
The trade deal has been negotiated between the EU and the so-called Mercosur countries, which are Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro leads a far-right government in Brazil that is currently engaging in the wholesale destruction of the Amazon rainforest and invading indigenous reservations.
EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker announced the completion of negotiations surrounding the trade deal on June 28, but it will not come into force before being ratified.
The last big trade deal negotiated by the EU, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), required ratification by the parliaments of all EU member states, including Westminster, which granted its approval on 26 June 2018, which means it’s overwhelmingly likely the same will hold of the EU-Mercosur deal.
Issuing a rallying call to save the Amazon, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow International Relations Minister Delyth Jewell AM said:
“We cannot stand idly by as the Amazon rainforest is destroyed by a man willing to choke the world to satisfy his ego.
“There is no point trying to reason with Bolsonaro, everything he does and everything he says shows he is nothing but a tinpot tyrant with a crippling inability to think rationally.
“We must therefore speak to him in the only language he understands by threatening to pull the plug on the newly agreed trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur bloc, which includes Brazil.
“Were the UK to decide to remain in the EU then we would have the ability to unilaterally veto the trade deal by refusing to ratify it.”
Ms Jewell added:
“The destruction of the Amazon rainforest would lead to the extinction of countless species, deal an irrevocable blow against efforts to curb climate change, divest indigenous people of their land and cause a permanent stain on the conscience of humanity.
“Bolsonaro is willing to let the lungs of the world burn. So I’m calling on all European parties who care about the future of life on this planet to join Plaid Cymru in threatening to burn our economic bridges with this monster, by demanding that their respective states use their economic might to force Bolsonaro to stop the burning, before it’s too late.”