Government refuse CETA debate yet again – Quinlivan
Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Jobs and Trade Maurice Quinlivan, has again asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to provide a date for the Dáil to debate the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), and yet again the Minister has refused such a request.
Speaking in Leinster House today, Deputy Quinlivan said;
“I have lost count as to how many times I have requested a debate on CETA. It is deeply frustrating that the Minister and the Government continue to railroad this agreement through, without any scrutiny or debate in the Dáil.
“The Minister will visit Canada at the end of this month on a trade deal to discuss CETA, yet she steadfastly refuses to organise such an opportunity for discussion on the topic closer to home. I am now confident that the reason why Fine Gael will not proceed with a debate is because they are anxious opposition parties will highlight deficiencies in this agreement. They would rather keep their head in the sand, irrespective of the damage to certain sectors this deal could inflict.
“I asked the Minister in the Dáil today about her position as to the constitutionality of the Investment Court System included in CETA, and the absence of an answer from her spoke volumes.
“I also highlighted the undemocratic aspect of provisionally applying a trade deal that has not been voted on by the Oireachtas, yet the Minister seemed indifferent to this departure from democratic norms.
“The decision of the European Court of Justice this morning outlined that European Union trade deals that include investment protection must be ratified by all 38 national and regional parliaments. This is a very welcome decision and ensures that member states retain control of major trade decisions going into the future. However, this ECJ decision will be of no use if the government of the member state, refuse an opportunity to debate and vote on such an agreement, as is currently happening in Ireland.
“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.”