Community anti fracking group Love Leitrim, have declared their opposition to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada and have asked the Irish government not to ratify it.
Trade related chapters of CETA have been provisionally applied in Ireland for three years but the investment chapter will only come into effect if it is ratified by all EU member states including Ireland note Love Leitrim.
The group point out that the Irish government may ratify this as soon as this month.
They say there is real fear amongst a range of organisations that ratification will negatively impact efforts to bring forward progressive legislation and policies on a range of issues including the environment, climate, workers rights and social protection. There are a broad number of groups opposing the ratification of CETA including Trocaire, Comhlamh, Friends Of Irish Environment,and a majority of opposition political parties note Love Leitrim.
The group state that one of the major worries related to the CETA deal is what is known as the 'Investor Court System' , a mechanism that would bypass domestic and EU courts. Ratification of the element of CETA would mean that Canadian companies or companies with Canandian subsidiaries (including American companies) could try to sue the Irish state for changes in environmental, health, and other laws on the grounds that it might impact a company's future profits.
Love Leitrim Chairperson Jamie Murphy, speaking after an online meeting of the group last night, called the possible ratification of CETA a ''profoundly dangerous and anti democratic act that will drastically impact the ability of Ireland to bring forward laws and policies in many areas including the environment. We would support the view of Professor John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth who says the fear of such financial claims arising (from CETA) would inhibit the state from implementing positive and progressive policies. We are calling on all government parties, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Green Party who in opposition opposed CETA not to ratify it. There is no obligation for the Irish government to do so. If they do it will have a devastating impact on future attempts to bring in progressive legislation in the future especially related to the fossil fuel industry and our attempts to fight climate change..Please contact your local TDs and Councillors and ask them to voice their opposition."
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