Irish parliament committees to examine CETA before ratification

Irish parliament committees to examine CETA. [Shutterstock/Trybex]

The European affairs and trade and enterprise committees will start a separate examination of the EU-Canada trade deal known as CETA before parliament makes any decision to ratify it.

The all-party committee on European affairs has written to other committees to see where they stand in relation to CETA, with the trade and enterprise group already requesting to carry out their own examination.

This comes after Dublin-based Green Party TD’s Paul Costello lodged a High Court action against the agreement, deeming it “unconstitutional.”

“It is of fundamental importance that the members of the Dáil, myself included, who would vote on whether to ratify CETA know that our votes are constitutional,” Costello said in a statement released to one Irish newspaper.

According to him, CETA’s ratification may also need the backing of a referendum to ensure the “correct process” takes place. “While there might be different views on this question of whether CETA needs a referendum, the only place we can get a definitive answer is the courts,” Costello said in his closing remarks.

CETA has caused tension within the Green Party for months, with Costello and Green Party member Neasa Hourigan refusing to back the deal.

The European affairs committee has started scrutiny on the document, focusing on an overview of the agreement and how it got to this point, its status among the EU member states and the investment court system. (Paula Kenny | EURACTIV.com)

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