Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, will host a briefing in Dublin this evening with a focus on the controversial EU-Canada Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
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Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, will host a briefing in Dublin this evening with a focus on the controversial EU-Canada Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Mr. Carthy will also speak on the proposed controversial Investment Court included in both CETA and the TTIP.

The meeting will be taken by Matthias Kelly QC SC, in the European Parliament Office. It will provide all attendees with an update on the requirement for constitutional change in Ireland, before any trade deal which includes provision for investment can be signed off on.

Mr. Kelly will outline his personal informed views highlighting why a referendum is required.

Speaking ahead of the event Matt Carthy explained the rules and regulations behind a free trade agreement, he said "The European Court of Justice has said that new Free Trade Agreements can only be concluded by the EU and Member States acting together. It has ruled that the regime governing dispute settlement between investors and States cannot be established without the Member States consent.”

Mr. Carthy also explained that the referendum will be required due to the inclusion of the anti-democratic investment court proposal.

He stated, "That judgement reinforces legal opinion that Matthias Kelly has prepared for me that outlines that a constitutional referendum will be required in Ireland on the recently concluded EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) due to the inclusion of the anti-democratic Investment Court proposal before the Government can sign up to it.”

Carthy said this was a main factor behind his party’s refusal to back the Lisbon Treaty saying, “One of the reasons Sinn Féin campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty was due to the included expansion of the scope of the EU’s competence over external trade policy to include not only trade in goods, but also trade in services, intellectual property and foreign direct investment.”

He said the party had successfully predicted that the commission would try to pursue a dangerous trade agenda upon the passing of the treaty, "We correctly predicted that the Commission would use these increased powers to pursue a regressive, dangerous trade agenda. The European Court of Justice judgement proves that they have gone even further than their competencies allowed.”

Carthy says it is now not a good idea to go ahead with these deals and says the must be concluded together, “It is now clear that the Commission is not competent to conclude free trade deals like TTIP and CETA on its own. It must act jointly with national parliaments and governments, giving them a much-increased role in the process.”

HE called on the government to review its position on a proposed referendum and warned that the inclusion of an Investment Court means corporations will be able to sue governments on a range of issues, “The Irish Government must therefore review its position on a referendum on the CETA and specifically the inclusion of an Investment Court that would allow corporations sue governments for enacting progressive legislation, if it impacts on profits.”

He concluded by reiterating the need for a referendum and called on the government to do so on their ow accord,"All the evidence suggests that a referendum is required. The government shouldn’t have to be brought to court themselves in order for that referendum to be held.”

The briefing by Mr. Carthy will take place this evening in the European Parliament Office on Lower Mount Street at 7pm. All are welcome.

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