Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has criticised Taoiseach Enda Kenny for preparing to discuss and promote the controversial Canada-EU Comprehensive and Economic Free Trade Agreement (CETA) on a visit to Canada next week while the issue hasn’t even been discussed in the Dáil.
Matt Carthy said:
“The Taoiseach is visiting Canada next week where he will meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss and promote the highly controversial Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). This deal has raised serious concerns among many citzens, particularly farmers, workers and small & medium indigenous companies.
“Despite these concerns the government have signed off on the provisional application of the deal at EU level disregarding the fact that it must be agreed by all national parliaments including the Dáil. The Dáil has not yet voted on this deal, amazingly it hasn’t even debated it. In actual fact the only vote in the Oireachtas was a Seanad resolution calling on the government NOT to ratify the deal.
“Many people will therefore find it objectionable that Enda Kenny is willing to discuss and promote this dangerous trade deal with the Canadian Prime Minister but not with fellow TDs in the Dáil, several of whom have expressed deep and well founded concerns about its implications.
“It is my firm belief, based on legal advice I have received, that under the Irish Constitution final ratification of CETA requires a referendum. This is because of the inclusion within the deal of an Investment Court that would have powers to fine governments for enacting legislation that impact on the profits of corporations. I suspect that there would be little public appetite for such a scenario.
“The Government has recently denied the Dáil a debate on CETA, a decision which exposed Fine Gael’s complete disregard for the Irish Constitution, the justice system, as well as contempt for the Dáil itself and the people of Ireland.
“As is his style, it appears that Mr Kenny would rather talk to foreign leaders about matters which directly concern Irish citizens than make himself or his Government accountable to the Dáil. This is unacceptable.”