Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan said this morning he is concerned about the loss of Irish jobs if a European free trade treaty is agreed with the US.
Mr Flanagan was speaking after a meeting in Brussels looking at the proposed Transatlantic, Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States of America.
“Jobs could be lost as a result of these proposals and the environmental impact could be devastating,” said the Deputy Chair of the Assembly’s Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee.
“This agreement would stipulate that any US regulations would be sufficient for the European market and as such, any additional European regulations would be sidestepped.
“This is of particular concern to anti-fracking campaigners across Europe, especially in Fermanagh and Leitrim.
“Pro-fracking politicians tell us that regulation will protect us from fracking and the mistakes from the industry in America won’t be repeated in Ireland.
“This treaty would remove those protections.
“Another worrying aspects of this agreement, would be to allow the European market to be flooded with genetically modified (GM) foods imported from the US.
“This could put Irish farmers out of business as a result of food being imported from industrial and intensive US farms.
“In reality, these negotiations are not about free trade, but they are about removing and undermining much-needed regulations, which serves public policy goals and corrects market failures.” CRÍOCH/ENDS
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