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Quinlivan urges Minister Mitchell O’Connor to hold debate on CETA

27 April, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Following on from the announcement that the Taoiseach is to travel to Canada to meet with Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan today urged the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor to hold a debate on the controversial trade agreement.

Speaking today, the Limerick City TD said:

“Today, I submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Minister seeking a date for a Dáil debate on CETA. This is my second formal request in April alone calling on the Minister to hold a debate, as although this trade deal is almost fully implemented; the Dáil has been refused permission to debate its contents. This is a dramatic departure from normal procedure, and flies in the face of democratic principles.

“It is totally unacceptable that the Taoiseach is to fly to Canada to discuss CETA with other politicians, when Irish elected representatives have been refused a voice, for fear of highlighting the serious flaws in this agreement.

“Many people in Ireland still aren’t aware of the potential consequences of CETA, highlighting the need for a Dáil debate on the matter. 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.

“The previous response I received from the Minister on this was disgraceful, highlighting Fine Gael’s disregard for the Republics’ parliamentary institutions, and so I will continue to press for a debate until the concerns of Irish citizens, farmers and businesses are heard in the Dáil.” 

Note: Please see the PQ in question below

To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, that in light of the fact that CETA is to be discussed in Canada next week by the Taoiseach and Prime Minister Trudeau, and noting her previous refusal of my request to hold a Dáil debate on this trade deal, will the Minister now confirm a date for the Dáil to have an opportunity to debate the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)?

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