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I hope this important decision will prompt some reflection on the government benches

The Supreme Court decision that ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)) between the EU and Canada is unconstitutional is an indictment of the government’s attempt to ram the deal through the Dáil, according to Social Democrats Environment Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.

“I welcome the decision of the Supreme Court today that ratification of CETA would be unconstitutional. This is a hugely significant decision – and a vindication for those who had serious concerns about the government’s attempts to ram ratification of this deal through the Dáil.

“It is worth recalling that the Government previously attempted to rush through ratification of this hugely complex deal after just a 55-minute Dáil debate in December 2020. That cynical effort only failed because it prompted such a huge public outcry.

“The Government continually tells us that it is crucial to ratify this deal to boost trade. However, the trade elements of this deal came into force back in 2017. What remains outstanding is a controversial investor court system (ICS), which gives multinationals the right to sue governments that curtail their freedom of action as investors.

“The practical impact of this is that ICS allows large corporations to leapfrog domestic and EU courts and take cases against governments to specially-created tribunals when policy decisions impact their bottom line.

“When it comes to implementing measures that have the capacity to pit the public interest against investor interest, the choice for the Government should be an easy one. Protect the public interest. At all costs.

“I hope this important decision will prompt some reflection on the government benches and a re-examination of the long-term consequences of introducing ICS as part of this deal.”

11 November, 2022


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