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Sinn Féin

02/10/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/10/2021 09:10

CETA referral to Oireachtas Committee cannot be a diversion tactic to take the heat off the Green Party – Senator Lynn Boylan

10 February, 2021 - by Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Justice, Senator Lynn Boylan, has warned that the Government cannot evade proper scrutiny of CETA.

Speaking today, following the announcement that CETA will be referred to the Oireachtas European Affairs Committee, Senator Boylan said:

'CETA is a bad deal for workers, bad for the environment and a very bad deal for the public purse. Allowing an investor state dispute mechanism to sue the State over public policy decisions is wrong, dangerous and deeply undemocratic.

'CETA must be rejected. It is misleading to frame this as ratifying a trade agreement, when in fact the trading element is already completed and this is about ratifying corporate courts.

'Referring CETA to the Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs will not ensure the proper scrutiny that CETA deserves. CETA is so far-reaching and damaging that it encompasses housing, climate justice, agriculture, public health and workers' rights.

'It will require cross-committee work to ensure all of these aspects are covered. Indeed, it will require a much longer time frame as well in order to cover the scope of CETA and ensure it receives the scrutiny required. Given the restrictions on Oireachtas Committee sittings due to Covid, you would have to question why the Government are trying to fast track this through instead of focussing on the pandemic?

'Sinn Féin's representatives on the European Affairs Committee, John Brady TD and Ruairí Ó Murchú TD, will work to hold the Government to account through the committee.

'We are clear that CETA is harmful to workers' rights, climate justice and many other fundamental aspects of Irish life.

'The referral to the European Affairs Committee must not be a diversion tactic designed to wait until the spotlight is off the Green Party in order to rush through CETA. They know that it is a major mistake, which is why they were opposed to it in opposition.'