Tipperary TD Jackie Cahill has contacted An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, and the Government Chief Whip, Jack Chambers, requesting that the planned vote this week on the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) be postponed until a full discussion is had in relation to this ratification.
CETA is a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union which aims to remove barriers to trade and greatly increase free trade between the two economic zones.
Deputy Cahill fully acknowledges and appreciates the benefits of free trade and how Ireland’s access to European markets and the markets that these free trade agreements open up has resulted in major economic expansion in Ireland since 1973.
However, that does not excuse the need for scrutiny of said agreements before they are ratified by national parliaments.
“I have been inundated with emails and calls from constituents over the weekend in relation to this week’s planned vote on CETA. I have shared these concerns with the Taoiseach and Government Chief Whip this morning. I have requested that this ratification vote be postponed until we can have a full and open discussion in relation to the implications of the CETA. I am by no means saying that CETA is a bad thing. Far from it. I fully support the opening of free trade between EU members states and third countries such as Canada, creating new markets for Irish exports. However, there is some unease in relation to particular aspects of the CETA, such as the investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms that have been brought to my attention.
“After listening to the concerns of my constituents in relation to this extremely important issue, I have contacted the Taoiseach and requested that this ratification be postponed until we in Fianna Fáil can have a free and open discussion on the implications of CETA,” said Deputy Cahill.