Matt Carthy MEP: Fine Gael’s endorsement of corporate court ‘outrageous’
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has called for the Government to refer the proposed new Investment Court to the Attorney General before seeking to ratify the Singapore investment agreement approved today in the European Parliament.
Speaking following the vote in Strasbourg today, Carthy said:
“The new Investor Court endorsed by a majority of MEPs today poses a serious threat for our democracy, our legislative sovereignty, and our Constitutional integrity.
“Ireland is one of a few countries around the world that has never included an Investor Protection mechanism in any bilateral trade agreement, despite our open economy and wide trading relationships. We have never needed one, and most will argue we will never need one due to the fact that our own existing national judicial system is more than capable of upholding the rule of law.
“Fine Gael’s endorsement of this deal today marks a departure from decades of Irish foreign policy and throws into jeopardy the Irish Government’s legislative autonomy in a number of areas.
“If Fine Gael is being genuine about their will to shake off the ‘climate-laggard’ label, then this new Court will not help. Around the world, Investment Protection mechanisms are a regular recourse for powerful energy companies who sue governments for implementing moratoriums on fracking, banning oil exploration and the phasing out of nuclear energy. They are also regularly used to attack public services and health care.
“The Government will now have to take into account the impact of all new legislation on foreign direct investments. Any direct or indirect impact on an investor’s profits brings about the possibility of multi-million euro lawsuits in a Court detached from our own national judicial system.
“It is shameful that Fine Gael voted in favour of this Court today, when a legal challenge is still outstanding in the European Court of Justice about its compatibility with the EU Treaties.
“It is also outrageous that there has been no Dáil debate on this issue, nor any referral of the matter to the Attorney General.
“It is vital that we get clarity on how this new jurisdiction impacts on our own legal system, before the Government agrees to broaden the scope to include other countries.” ENDS