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Dáil should decide if Ireland signs up to sweeping EU trade deals – Quinlivan

26 July, 2016 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan TD has said he is alarmed by the government’s lack of concern about the proposed Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). 

Having raised the issue in the Dáil and with the Minister and on foot of a recent Red C survey on EU trade deals which showed that 69% of respondents are concerned about the impact of EU trade deals and 74% believe there should be a referendum on such deals, Deputy Quinlivan said:

“Last week, I asked the Minister for Jobs if the Dáil would have an opportunity to debate this hugely important trade agreement and to vote on it.

“CETA has major implications for workers’ rights as labour standards are not on its agenda.

“It also has major implications for public services and proposes to give privileged rights to foreign investors and corporations to sue states.

“Under CETA, foreign investors will have more rights than the state and any group in it with the result that foreign investors will be able to bring claims against regulations, made in the public interest, which could impact their investments.

“By comparison, domestic investor can only appeal to national courts within the framework of national laws.

“There is no good reason for incorporating these special rights into CETA and for putting the interests of investors ahead of the welfare of the rest of society.   

“The government has acknowledged the agreement will have major implications for Ireland, yet they are willing to provisionally apply it (i.e. fully implemented) before the Oireachtas has a chance to debate and vote on it.

“This is totally undemocratic; the Dáil should decide if Ireland signs up to this draconian treaty and not faceless EU bureaucrats.” 

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