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Carthy calls on Irish government to block CETA - the Canadian TTIP

31 May, 2016 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called on the Irish Government to block the provisional ratification of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) deal prior to the agreement being put to national parliaments.  Carthy said that inclusion within CETA of the controversial Investment Court Systems (ICS) that he believes present huge Irish constitutional ramifications means that the government must not allow a provisional application of the trade deal. 

Carthy this week co-hosted an international conference in the European Parliament entitled “CETA: TTIP in a Canadian disguise”.  The Sinn Féin representative chaired key debates during the conference.  Speaking afterwards he said:

“During the Agriculture, Health and the Environment panels in our conference I raised the points that while the CETA agreement hasn’t received the same attention as EU-US deal TTIP, many of the same issues with regard to the precautionary principle, GMOs and the threats to Irish farmers equally apply.

“All of this with the added dimension that Canada is home to one of the world’s biggest mining industries - a dirty industry that would easily break into Ireland with the ratification of CETA.  What people need to understand is that with the opening up of public procurement to Canadian companies, 80% of public contracts will have to be put out to tender, making it impossible for an Irish government to protect local businesses or workers.

“Last week at a meeting with a top EU Commission Official working on the legal aspects of the so-called Investment Court Systems, formerly Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) I raised the issue of need for an Irish Referendum to the Commission representative.  It was clear to me that the Commission intends to press the council to ‘provisionally’ ratify the CETA trade deal and to ignore the constitutional or democratic obstacles that come their way.

“During the CETA conference today, we heard of similar campaigns going on all around Europe, further validating the legal opinion that I have received that this Agreement will require an Irish referendum.

“Legal experts, lawyers, judges, researchers and representatives from consumer groups and NGOs are all in agreement that the proposed Investment Court to be enveloped into both CETA and TTIP create massive national and European legal concerns.

“CETA has become the European Commission’s back door through which to implement ISDS/ICS. The Irish Government must follow on from the work being done in other EU countries at present by stating categorically that they will not support the provisional application of the deal before national parliaments vote on the matter.  Put simply, it’s time for the Irish government to stand up for Ireland’s interests.” ENDS

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