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18 Jan 2022

Dundalk TD labels Canada-EU trade deal as 'madness' and that could lead to corporations suing Ireland

Dundalk TD says there cannot be a return to a hard border

Dundalk TD Ruairí Ó Murchú

Local Dundalk TD has labelled it “madness” to sign up to the CETA (Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement) between the EU and Canada, saying that the Investment Court System (ICS) would leave the state open to being sued by corporations.

Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú, who is a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Affairs, has said that the report on CETA compiled by the committee was split 50/50 among the members.

“There is a 50/50 split between those who want it to be put to the Oireachtas and those, like myself and my colleague John Brady TD, who believe it would be madness to sign up to it,” said Deputy Ó Murchú.

He said that the ICS would “hamstring” the state and open it to being sued by corporations.

“The fear remains that if the State signs up to CETA, the ICS element would have the chilling effect on the basis that the State has left itself open to being sued because corporations have the legitimate expectation of profit.

“If we want to introduce legislation for the public good, for example on climate

change or anything else, we certainly do not want it hampered by this.”

“Most of the trade related elements of CETA are already in operation but ratification would mean we would have to swallow the whole hog of ICS.”

The controversial trade deal has previously been in focus, due to the Green Party’s opposition to the deal before entering government, with the party accepting its ratification as part of the Programme for Government.

Deputy Ó Murchú said that there were deep concerns about the deal within the Oireachtas committee about the trade deal, despite hours of testimony from expert witnesses.

“It would be madness to sign up to CETA and the debates in the Joint Committee, coupled with today’s report, show there are deep and real concerns that have not been resolved even after hours of testimony from expert witnesses.”

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