In February, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was passed by a majority vote in the European Parliament. Before the trade deal comes into full effect, CETA must be passed by each individual member state.
However whats called the conditional application of CETA began at midnight 1st March in Ireland despite the Oireachtas not approving, or even debating the deal. This means that many of its elements will take immediate effect.
CETA was the conservative brainchild of the Barroso Commission and ex-Canadian prime-minister Stephen Harper. There is no compelling reason to rubber-stamp this legacy of theirs. Realistic economic modelling forecasts negligible benefits to our GDP at best, and the loss of thousands of European jobs at worse. CETA will also bring about a drop in beef meat prices, and the risks to health and environmental safety standards in Europe are many, including the introduction of a special investor court which will by-pass national courts.
“With CETA we have opened another legal front for private operators to join in and wage battle on public regulation.”
Tariffs to trade between our blocs are no longer an issue, and there are merits to coordinating the way we regulate markets so that we can trade and put our trust in each other’s’ products. But the way to do this is not through secretive negotiations between trade negotiators, resulting in thousands of pages of obscure provisions which our parliaments can only say yes or no to.
“Social rights, our health and the environment are not simply obstacles to trade to be chipped away in bilateral cooperation schemes.”
What you can do
Lobby your TDs and ask them not to rubber stamp CETA. Asking that before any vote in the Dáil we need a full and transparent debate – including a cost benefit analysis for Irish citizens, the environment and the economy.
For more information on the EU Canada trade deal click the following link to view