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Social Democrats TD for Wicklow, Jennifer Whitmore, today questioned why the Government is in such a rush to ratify the CETA trade deal.

Speaking in the Dáil, she asked the Tánaiste to explain what the benefits were to pushing ahead with the deal before Christmas.

Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson for Climate Action and Biodiversity, said:

“There has been a lot of concern about the way the Government tried to bring CETA over the line so close to Christmas, without any public debate or assurances on the controversial investor dispute mechanism, which have been raised by civil society groups for a number of years now.

“It is unclear what the rush was and what the benefits were to ratifying the deal this side of Christmas, with so many questions left unanswered.

“I am calling on the Tánaiste to commit to a risk-based analysis prior to any Dáil decision to ratify CETA – and only after a public debate has been facilitated.

“It has been noted that the trade component of CETA, which has been in operation since 2017, has been working well independently of the investor dispute mechanism. Therefore, it is unclear why the Government pushed hard to get the remaining elements of CETA over the line so quickly. It is important that a risk analysis is carried out to address these outstanding concerns.

“I am disappointed with the Tánaiste’s response to my call as he did not indicate whether a risk analysis would take place before a Dáil debate. However, I will continue to insist that one is carried out in the new year.”

December 17, 2020

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