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Government should learn lessons from CETA – Conway-Walsh

28 October, 2016 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin leader in the Seanad Rose Conway-Walsh criticised the Government for its determination to ratify the toxic CETA trade deal that could see beef farmers forced out of business.

Speaking today, the Senator for Mayo said:

“Sinn Féin in the European Parliament and at local and national level steadfastly opposed this deal and the negative impact it is likely to have on Ireland. We also highlighted how much of the negotiations were carried out in secret, greatly reducing the opportunity for public debate and scrutiny.

“We had a wide ranging and thorough debate in the Seanad on the issue and the Sinn Féin team fully supported the motion that called for a halt to the provisional application of CETA. I think the Seanad vote was significant in terms of how our own Government conducts future negotiations on behalf of the country.

“Many beef farmers may be forced out of business and if this is allowed to happen our most important industry in terms of trade will be jeopardised. It's ironic that one arm of the government, namely the Department of Agriculture is working to increase beef output while another arm, the cabinet is determined to ratify a toxic trade deal which will flood the EU with cheap beef to compete with our exports. 

“It was clear that many people were uneasy and fearful about the impact of CETA, not least upon the agricultural sector. The Government seemed completely oblivious to this and adopted their usual tone of ‘trust us, this doesn’t concern you’.

“Sinn Féin viewed this in its simplest terms. If you own a farm and rely on that for your income, then any deal done regarding Irish agriculture behind your back is very much a matter of concern for you. We will continue to use the Seanad to bring a greater level of scrutiny to the back door deals and carve ups the Government would rather keep below the radar.” 

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