Fianna Fáil Private Member’s Motion in support of CETA

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Letter to FF TD’s bij Fracking Free Ireland -Brussels
FF support the anti fracking bill, but also support the CETA,

Dear Fianna Fáil TDs,

It has come to my attention that your party has introduced a Private Member’s Motion in support of CETA which will be debated in the Dáil this Tuesday evening, June 20.
http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=36467&&CatID=62
It is hugely disappointing that one day before the legislation banning fracking is to be voted on by the Seanad that Fianna Fáil TDs – many of whom have spoken out against fracking praising the work of grassroots groups – should now seek to undermine these efforts. For those of you not yet aware, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada includes an investment protection mechanism granting rights to investors to sue states that choose to introduce policies or regulations protecting the public interest should these pose a threat to investors’ projected profits. Read more in this report: https://www.tni.org/files/publication-downloads/ceta-trading_away_democracy-2016en.pdf

PDF doc: ceta-trading_away_democracy-2016en

It is also disappointing that Fianna Fáil should choose to align itself with Fine Gael who signed Ireland up to this deal at the EU Council last October despite the fact that the Seanad had passed a motion opposing CETA and that no parliamentary debate had been held.

Fianna Fáil makes several misleading statements in its press release issued ahead of this evening’s debate. It claims rejection of CETA would jeopardise jobs and endanger prosperity when the opposite is true: CETA is, in fact, likely to destroy jobs and increase inequality. This was the conclusion reached by the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee last December. Its report stated that the agreement would put thousands of jobs at risk across the EU. Read more here:https://www.euractiv.com/section/trade-society/news/parliament-committee-gives-ceta-thumbs-down/

A recent study published in the International Journal of Political Economy backs the conclusions reached by the EU Parliament committee’s report. Read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ceta-trade-deal-eu-canada-report-job-losses-inequality-a7615891.html

In Ireland specifically, CETA will cause economic hardship for the beef sector which should surely be of concern to any party claiming an interest in protecting jobs. Read more here: http://www.farmersjournal.ie/beef-will-be-the-big-loser-ceta-reactions-256204

To add insult to injury, in today’s press release, your party’s spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Niall Collins, paints ‘free trade’ opponents as belonging to the ‘hard left’. As with the anti-fracking campaign, opposition to such corporate power grabs with their far-reaching and damaging effects on agriculture and environmental protection is not confined to voters of any one political party.

Mr Collins claiming opposition to ‘free trade’ is hard left is risible when you consider that in Wallonia, one of the few regions to have built a strong and diverse movement opposing CETA, opposition spanned the political spectrum with even the centre-right Christian Democrats (CdH) condemning the deal, especially its harmful impacts on agriculture.

Let it be clear: those opposing CETA are, in fact, highly informed of CETA’s negative consequences now well documented by a plethora of comprehensive reports and academic papers. We also have the support of many experts, including UN human rights lawyer Alfred de Zayas who has urged states not to sign the agreement. Read more here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20787

In the light of the compelling evidence presented above, I am demanding that you and your party reconsider your support for this economically harmful and profoundly undemocratic agreement.