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"Ireland's position on Investment Court must be reconsidered." - Matt Carthy MEP

13 May, 2016 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on the new Minister for Enterprise, Mary Mitchell O'Connor to reconsider Ireland's position on the European Commission's proposed Permanent Investment Court.

Speaking as European Trade Ministers meet in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels today, Friday, to discuss the state-of-play of trade deals with the US (TTIP) and Canada (CETA), Carthy said:

"TTIP is currently hanging in the balance following the recent spate of leaked documents, while the CETA deal has largely slipped under the radar of the Irish Government who have completely avoided public debate on the issue.

"The legal advice that I have obtained is clear that the commission’s proposal for Investor-State disputes resolution breaches the Irish constitution.  This is as much the case for CETA as it is for TTIP.  Despite this and despite the fact that there is absolutely no need for such a court as the current Irish and European judicial systems are quite adequate, there has been a lack of sufficient debate at Irish level.

"In light of the legal opinion that I have received, and which I have forwarded to the new Minister, it is now time for Ireland's position in relation to the European Commission's proposed Permanent Investment Court to be reconsidered.

"That Mary Mitchell O’Connor has just been appointed means there is now an opportunity for the Irish government to change its position on these trade deals and move to a scenario where our representatives in Europe stand up for Ireland’s interests rather than act as PR agents for the commission at home. 

"The Commission has indicated that it will be presenting a proposal to the Council of Europe in June of this year for signature and provisional application of CETA, pending an EU-Canada summit planned for October 2016 for final signature.  The legal opinion I have forwarded to the Minister clearly states that she cannot sign it without breaching the Irish constitution.  Therefore the Government must act with urgency." ENDS 

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