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Carthy hosts Irish participants at key TTIP conference in Brussels

9 December, 2014 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Carthy hosts Irish participants at key TTIP conference in Brussels

Speaking from Brussels, where he addressed participants at a special conference in the European Parliament today, Tuesday, on the growing concerns with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy highlighted in particular the concerns for Ireland in terms of agriculture and the environment.  Carthy hosted representatives from Irish farming and environmental organisations at the conference which was attended by several hundred representatives from across the EU.

The Sinn Fein MEP has previously published a discussion document on TTIP and its potential implications for Ireland which is available to download on the Sinn Fein website.

Carthy said:

“The conference today, organised by left MEPs and the Transnational Institute, was attended by over 80 organisations from both sides of the Atlantic.  Activists, national and regional parliamentarians, trade unionists and civil society members were present.  It provided an excellent opportunity to further explore the detail and impact that TTIP could have for many sectors.

“I was delighted to have been asked to chair a discussion on the impact TTIP will have on agriculture and the environment and also to facilitate the attendance of representatives of farming and environmental organisations from Ireland to the conference where they had the opportunity to engage first hand in debate surrounding the concerns with TTIP of many across Europe.

“From an Irish perspective there are particular concerns around the impact TTIP may have on Agriculture and the Environment. The Minister for Agriculture has already acknowledged his concerns around the Irish Beef Sector, which is currently subject to rigorous food safety regulation and renowned for the quality of the produce.  These will be under threat if Irish farmers are forced to compete with cheaper American produce not currently subject to the same regulation.

“Similarly there are real fears that TTIP will undermine our environmental regulation – for example the ISDS mechanism, which forms part of TTIP and has been already supported by our Minister Richard Bruton, is the same mechanism by which Canada is currently being brought to court in a multi-million dollar law suit by an American Corporation as a result of their moratorium on fracking in Quebec.

““This week's conference, the third of its kind, has helped to strengthen the synergies needed across Europe and America that are required if we are to mount an effective campaign to oppose the elements of trade agreements that are not in the best interests of citizens.

“Citizens do not want to be sold out to Investor to State dispute Settlements. They do not want to put their public services at risk. They want to maintain control over food quality and labour standards. They do not want an agreement which is in the best interests of huge corporations to the detriment of the rights of citizens and democracy.”

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