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Irish Minister must block provisional application of EU Canadian trade deal - Matt Carthy MEP

20 July, 2016 - by Matt Carthy MEP

The Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, Matt Carthy, has described as reckless the position taken by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor who has indicated she will support the proposal of the European Commission to begin implementing the controversial CETA Canadian Free Trade Agreement before national parliaments have voted on the issue.

Due to huge public pressure the European Commission has agreed that national parliaments will get to vote on the CETA trade agreement which, like its US counterpart TTIP, has come in for huge criticism. However, in the same breath the Commission has suggested that they will still provisionally apply the Agreement before parliaments actually get to vote. Carthy has described such a scenario as unacceptable.

He said:

“In a response to a parliamentary question posed by Deputy Sean Crowe the Minister responded that “[i]t will be a matter for the Council and the European Parliament to decide on the signature and provisional application of CETA”. Minister Mitchell O’Connor is a member of the Council therefore can veto such a provisional application. Her defence that such a provisional application is “standard practice” is not good enough.

“Almost all of the dangers that have been highlighted in the TTIP US trade deal are also contained within CETA. That is why organisations representing interests as diverse as farmers, workers and small businesses as well as environmentalists have been campaigning against its ratification. There are many potential consequences for a country such as Ireland, not least with regard to our democratic and legal structures and practices. That is why it is so important that the Dáil gets an opportunity to debate and vote on the deal before it is implemented.

“The Irish government has a responsibility to allow our elected voices to have their say before any dangerous trade is allowed to impact upon our economy. Minister Mitchell O’Connor must vote against the implementation of CETA until after the Dáil has voted.”

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