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New British EU Trade Commission nominee to face tough questions

20 October, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has said that the nominee as the new EU Trade Commissioner, Catherine Ashton, will face tough questions at the European Parliament this week and reiterated her call for the Peter Mandelson trade proposals to the WTO to be abandoned.

Ms de Brún said:

"Catherine Ashton will face tough questions before her appointment is approved by the European Parliament.

"She will appear before the Trade Committee today to answer questions about her suitability for the job. After this hearing, MEPs will decide on whether to recommend the full European parliament approves her appointment in a vote on Wednesday. Members from the Development and Foreign Affairs Committees will also pose questions, particularly about her approach to developing countries.

"What we don't need is for Ms Ashton to pursue the failed policies of her predecessor Peter Mandelson who, as European Commissioner, brought forward proposals that would have damaged both farmers in the EU and people in the developing world had the recent WTO talks not collapsed.

"The previous EU Trade Commissioner was willing to sacrifice the welfare of farmers and of our rural communities, not for the sake of the developing world but as part of his international trade games.

"While it is unlikely that the WTO talks will re-convene in the near future it is vital that we get a clear indication from Ms Ashton that any future WTO talks will not include the disastrous proposals put forward by Peter Mandelson." ENDS

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