Updated: 22/11/16 : 04:46:29Printable Version
It was horrifying that the government had provisionally signed up to the EU Canadian (CETA) trade deal without Dail debate, and approval. One of the consequences of this is that it would leave Ireland open to €multi million claims from foreign investors in special courts that were not answerable to national or EU courts.
This was the strong view put forward in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last night, November 21st when Sligo based Independent MEP Marian Harkin said that she and eight other cross group MEPs would be putting a resolution to the Parliament on Wednesday next to refer the Canadian trade deal to the European Court of Justice in order to establish if Investor Protection Courts were compatible with the EU treaties.
She said: “On Wednesday this Parliament will vote on a Resolution I co-authored with eight other MEPs. This resolution asks the Parliament to refer the Canadian trade deal, CETA, to the European Court of Justice to decide if the proposed investor protection courts are compatible with the EU Treaties. These Investor Protection Courts appoint their own judges and are not answerable to national or EU courts.
“President Juncker in one of his first speeches in the Parliament said ‘my Commission will not accept that the jurisdiction of courts in the EU Member States be limited by special regimes for investor-state disputes’. Yet this is precisely what is happening.
“I am horrified that Ireland has provisionally signed this deal without a rigorous debate or vote in the Dail. We are the only country in the EU which does not have these Investor Protection Courts in our legislation, yet we will leave ourselves open to multimillion euro claims in these special courts if the trade deal is ratified. Our Seanad voted to reject CETA - the very least our Dail must do is debate and vote on CETA. In this house I hope we vote to support this resolution for legal certainty”, the Independent MEP concluded.