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Government’s refusal to debate CETA highlights the trade deal’s serious flaws – Quinlivan

5 May, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Responding to the latest refusal from Minister Mary Mitchell-O’Connor to hold a Dáil debate on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD said that this continued denial of an opportunity to debate CETA in the Dáil highlights the government’s fears that Sinn Féin will have an opportunity draw attention to the huge flaws in the trade agreement.

The Limerick City TD said:

“I have made numerous requests for a debate on CETA to be held in the Dáil, and the second blatant refusal by the Minister is without any justification. This type of behaviour by a government is totally unacceptable.

“It is ridiculous to think that the Taoiseach is currently in Canada discussing the implications for CETA with the Canadian government, yet politicians here are being continually denied such an opportunity.

“The response of the Minister clearly indicates that Fine Gael is worried about giving the opposition a chance to debate CETA, for fear they will highlight the serious flaws and consequences this agreement could have.

“Sinn Féin believes this deal will further distort trade and wealth in favour of large 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 Investment Court System included in CETA will give Canadian-based corporations the right to sue national governments in Europe, for compensation for loss of expected future profits in response to government actions that impact on the company’s activities.

“In addition to this refusal, as we have seen with the Saudi Arabia fiasco, it is clear that trade and big business interests comes before all else with Fine Gael, including before citizens’ interests, women’s’ rights, and democratic principles.  

“Fianna Fáil who continue to prop up this government, have the power to insist on a debate, yet they decide to keep their head in the sand.

 “I will continue to fight for a debate on this matter, to ensure the concerns of Irish citizens, farmers, and SMEs are heard in the Dáil.” 

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