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Fianna Fáil motion on CETA & TTIP ‘bizarre at best’ – Quinlivan

21 June, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Speaking last night on a Fianna Fáil motion on trade and foreign direct investment, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD reiterated his party’s opposition to CETA, TTIP, and other trade deals that do not have the best interests of citizens and indigenous Irish businesses at their core.

Speaking in the Dáil, Teachta Quinlivan said:

“Frankly, we found this Fianna Fáil motion to be bizarre on a number of fronts.

“Fianna Fáil seems to be seeking to retrospectively endorse TTIP, a hugely controversial, uncomplete trade deal that has been shelved since the new U.S. Administration took over.

“It seeks to cheerlead for CETA, a similarly contentious deal that is being provisionally applied in Ireland without so much as a Dáil debate, let alone a vote, in a blatant affront to democratic norms.

“The motion also fails to mention the huge consistent contribution indigenous Irish SMEs and make to the Irish economy and points out the threat Brexit poses to trade on the island of Ireland, but offers no solution on how to protect it.

“Our amendment recognises the equally important contribution of Irish companies to the Irish economy, it seeks a special status for the North to protect trade across our island, and that calls for the ending of the unjustified undemocratic provisional application of CETA.

“Sinn Féin has no problem with Ireland entering into free trade agreements, when they are just that, a free trade agreement. However, CETA and TTIP are a new generation of deals that moves far beyond the lowering or abolition of tariffs and aim primarily to remove ‘non-tariff barriers to trade’ by reaching regulatory coherence or harmonisation between parties.

“At the fore of our concerns is the inclusion of the Investor Court System, which will allow Canadian-based corporations the right to sue national governments in Europe, for compensation for the loss of expected future profits in response to government actions that impact on the company’s activities.

“Sinn Féin has received legal advice that the inclusion of this system is not compatible with Bunreacht na hÉireann and this is probably one reason why our various requests to debate CETA have been refused.

 “This is not something Fianna Fáil should be proud of or endorse. Sinn Féin want a Dáil debate and vote on CETA immediately, so these flaws can be debated and action taken to avoid seriously negative consequences for workers, farmers and small businesses across Ireland.” 

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