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Fine Gael MEPS bow to Corporate Lobby, damaging Irish Jobs and Agriculture - Carthy

15 February, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has slammed Fine Gael MEPs for voting in favour of the hugely controversial CETA trade deal in the European Parliament today.

Carthy said Fine Gael have meekly bowed to the demands of an international corporate lobby, and that the decision will have major, damaging implications for Irish jobs, businesses and agriculture.

The Midlands North West MEP was speaking after the European Parliament passed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.

While most Irish MEPs voted against CETA all four Fine Gael MEPs voted in favour of the deal.

Speaking after the vote Matt Carthy said:

"The EU-Canada Economic and Comprehensive Trade Agreement (CETA) was negotiated behind closed doors with every effort being made to restrict democratic oversight.

"Today all Irish MEPs had a chance to stand up and be counted. They had a chance to show whether they were here to represent Ireland’s interests or to meekly follow an international corporate lobby. To their shame, Fine Gael MEPs chose the latter.

"CETA will have huge implications for Irish sovereignty, our legislative and judicial systems and our economic future.

"It will further distort trade and wealth in favour of larger multinational corporations at the expense of indigenous business.

“Small and Medium Enterprises right across Europe will be disadvantaged by CETA.

"Coupled with other EU trade deals coming down the line, CETA will be devastating for Irish agriculture, farming families and rural communities.

"Disgracefully, Fine Gael MEPs today chose to support CETA over Irish farmers. There are huge implications now for the Irish beef sector which will face the prospect of Canadian beef imports.

"The inclusion in this deal of an Investment Court  provision gives large multinational corporations the right to sue governments for enacting laws that impact on profits, even if those laws are clearly in the public interest. This right will be denied to citizens, local businesses and governments themselves.

"Legal advice that I have received suggests that the ratification of a trade deal that includes an Investment Court would breach the Irish Constitution.

"It is entirely unacceptable that the EU Commission intends to ‘provisionally apply’ key aspects of the agreement immediately before national parliaments have any say on it.

"Fine Gael  and other MEPs who voted for CETA today, ignored the widespread demands for a fair, progressive EU trade agenda.

"CETA must now come before the Dail and all EU national parliaments. Sinn Féin will oppose it in the Dáil as our MEPS opposed it in the European Parliament and we will be engaging with representatives of farmers, trade unions, environmental groups and small & medium business organisations to campaign for all TDs to reject this toxic deal".

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