Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Carthy calls for Irish MEPs to stand up for Irish Interests at key TTIP vote this week

9 June, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has today called on Irish MEPs to take a stand and vote against the controversial Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism when a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership report comes before Plenary in Strasbourg this Wednesday.   The European Parliament will vote on an own initiative report on TTIP which will be seen by the Commission as a clear signal from MEP's as to the parameters for future negotiations with the US.

Carthy said:

“The report on TTIP, as currently presented by the Trade committee and coming before plenary this week, is wholly insufficient to address the concerns of citizens across the EU. From an Irish point of view it does not include the necessary provisions to protect our Agriculture sector or other vulnerable sections of our economy.   It includes acceptance of an Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism which allows private corporations and investors to sue the Governments of member states for potential loss of revenue.

"There are many positive amendments, including some put forward by myself and the other three Sinn Féin MEP's which would, if adopted set a clear European Parliament position that reflects the wishes of the vast majority of the European and Irish people. Those amendments include several that would reject, out of hand, any prospect of ISDS being included in a final TTIP agreement.

“ISDS is the means by which Canada has been sued for its moratorium on Fracking and it is the means by which Australia has been sued for its public health measures on smoking.

“In the 45 cases taken under this type of mechanism to date, almost $5 billion of public funds have been paid out to Investors.

“Over 97% of respondents to the largest ever online consultation process held by the European Commission stated their complete opposition to its inclusion in TTIP

“The French and the Dutch Parliaments have also passed resolutions in opposition to the ISDS mechanism and there is huge opposition to it among civil society organisations, NGOs and trade unions across the EU.

“Meanwhile the Irish Government has categorically failed to stand up for the interests of Ireland in any sense. Indeed, Minister Bruton has already indicated his support for the ISDS mechanism without recourse to the Oireachtas or to the people who elected him into office. Considering that Ireland has never needed to include ISDS in any bi-lateral trade agreement, despite our open economy and the positive trading relationship we already enjoy with the US, the position of the government is bizarre and disappointing.

“I am calling on Irish MEPs to clearly stand with the people and defend our Farming community, the rights of workers and the environmental standards we currently value so much by supporting the progressive amendments that Sinn Féin and others have submitted. Failing their adoption Irish MEP's must stand united in voting against the report and ISDS.”

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