Less spin and more debate needed on CETA – Quinlivan
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD, has today reiterated his call for a debate to be held in the Dáil on CETA.
Teachta Quinlivan’s call coincides with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s arrival in Ireland and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s comments endorsing the provisional application of this trade deal without question or debate.
Speaking from a protest on CETA outside Government Buildings today, Teachta Quinlivan said;
“This government have consistently denied the Dáil an opportunity to debate CETA. The previous Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, refused my request on a number of occasions, and the new Minister, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald reaffirmed that denial recently.
“Today, we saw Taoiseach Varadkar and Prime Minister Trudeau enthusiastically endorse the undemocratic provisional application of CETA, meaning it will be enforced before it is debated or scrutinised by the Dáil, a recipe for disaster.
“Sinn Féin is not against free trade or free trade agreements, but CETA, and its sister trade deal TTIP, are a new generation of FTAs that move far beyond the lowering or abolition of tariffs, and aim primarily to remove non-tariff barriers to trade, by reaching regulatory coherence or harmonisation between parties.
“At the fore of our concerns is the inclusion of the Investor Court System, which will allow Canadian-based corporations the right to sue national governments in Europe, for compensation for the loss of expected future profits in response to government actions that impact on the company’s activities. Sinn Féin has received legal advice that the inclusion of this system is not compatible with Bunreacht na hÉireann.
“CETA will further distort trade and wealth in favour of large multinational corporations at the expense of indigenous Irish industry. Small and medium Irish enterprises will be severely disadvantaged.
“This deal will allow for Canada to supply the EU with 50,000 tonnes of beef per year, which will have a major negative impact on the Irish farming sector.
“We want an opportunity to raise these concerns in the Dáil, to ensure citizens across Ireland are fully informed on what is included in this trade agreement, and challenge aspects that will hurt Irish interests.”