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Controversial CETA deal enters into force tomorrow with no Dáil vote or scrutiny – Maurice Quinlivan TD

20 September, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has criticised how the controversial trade deal between Europe and Canada will come into force tomorrow, September 21st, despite absolutely no debate or vote being taken on it in the Dáil.

Speaking from Leinster House today, Teachta Quinlivan said;

“This is a worrying departure from democratic norms, for a trade deal of this magnitude to come into force without so much as a debate let alone a vote in the national parliament.

“Sinn Féin has repeatedly expressed our concerns surrounding this trade agreement, the negative impact it could have on small businesses and farmers and the unconstitutionality of the investment court system included in it.

“Last year the Seanad passed a motion against the ratification of CETA.

“The solution of the government and the EU to this is to totally sidestep the national parliament by provisionally applying this agreement, without national votes.

“Sinn Féin is not against free trade or free trade agreements, but CETA, and its sister trade deal TTIP, are a new generation of FTAs that move far beyond the lowering or abolition of tariffs, and introduce new measures such as the Investment Court System, that would allow corporations sue governments for enacting progressive legislation, if it impacts on their profits.

“I have repeatedly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation to allow a Dáil debate on CETA, however each request has been denied.

“A previous response from the Minister stated “I believe that it is important to wait to see the benefits of CETA come into being, before CETA is put before the Dáil for ratification’.

“If it were the case that every piece of legislation or agreement was to be implemented first and debated later, then the need for a national parliament would be redundant.”

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