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CETA Trade Deal Hidden From Democratic Oversight – Gavan

18 January, 2017 - by Paul Gavan


Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has condemned the manner in which negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada have been hidden from democratic oversight by the Irish Parliament over an eight year period.

Speaking at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Senator Gavan asked senior civil servants:

“How can you justify the complete lack of democratic oversight, that at no point over an eight year period has anyone come into this committee to explain what economic sectors should be included or excluded from this deal?

“You are here to reassure us that the democratic rights of the Irish people will not be undermined (by CETA) but you have conceded the complete lack of democratic oversight with regard to the compilation of this critical list over an eight year period.

“The so-called ‘negative list’ is a list of sectors nominated by the Irish Government to be excluded or protected from the new trade deal. The Irish Government presented one of the shortest of lists submitted by an EU State, choosing to protect Legal Services from competition while failing to nominate any areas within Health or Education.”

Speaking after the conclusion of the Committee Hearing. Senator Gavan, who is Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Workers Rights in the Seanad, said Sinn Féin is totally opposed to the toxic Canadian-EU CETA trade deal.

“We believe that it has the potential to lower workers' rights, environmental regulations, food safety and could potentially lead to the privatization and further liberalization of our public services.

“This deal has been eight years in its making, and at no point did the government consult in democratic oversight with a national democratic forum (Seanad, Dáil or the Jobs Committee).

“This is outrageous behaviour considering the democratic rights of our people could be at risk.” 

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