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TTIP debate contributions by SMEs thwarted by Government TDs – Tóibín

15 December, 2015

Sinn Féin TD and Enterprise Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín has accused government TDs of seeking to prevent Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) groups from contributing to the Oireachtas TTIP debate.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“TTIP is the most important trade development to be negotiated by the EU. The potential ramifications of the deal are wide and deep. It is likely that the deal will lead to a downward convergence in regulation between the US and the EU in areas such as Workers Rights, Health and Safety and the Environment. It may also be a competitive threat to indigenous SMEs.

“There are major concerns with regards the loss of sovereignty entailed in the Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism and the chilling affect this will have over policy development by democratic governments.

“We have done a lot of work in the last few months to development a multi committee debate on the issue which would allow all stakeholders contribute to the debate. Government TDs have sought to thwart this process. They have done this by developing a Political Response to the EU Commission which consisted of one witness, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Richard Bruton might as well have just written a letter to the Commission himself.

“The government majority committee today, despite protests, have needlessly scheduled any further engagement with SME stakeholders until the end of January when the likely election will have been called. That elected representatives would seek to block the contribution of SME expertise to this pivotal debate is shocking. It feeds into the fear amongst many in society that those in favour of TTIP don’t want to see it debated.”

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