The Social Democrats have this week submitted a Dáil motion calling for CETA and the Investor Court System to be scrutinised by all relevant Oireachtas committees, not just one.

The motion states that given the breadth and scope of CETA, there are potential implications for various issues, including workers’ rights, labour standards, food safety, agriculture and even on our democracy. The motion makes several calls, including the need for rigorous scrutiny and for debate to be facilitated by all relevant Oireachtas committees.

The party believes that to limit the scrutiny of this far-reaching and intergenerational decision to a single Oireachtas committee will not meet the bar required for a full and proper debate on the issue. The motion also outlines growing public concern over the contentious Investor Court System and its potential to reduce our capacity to respond to climate change through the regulatory ‘chilling effect’, noting that energy companies would be the ones most likely to resort to this mechanism.

As well as enabling all relevant committees to scrutinise CETA, the Social Democrats are also calling for a Dáil debate on the remaining aspects of the trade deal, in particular the Investor Court System, in advance of any vote.

They are calling for the Government to carry out a risk analysis of CETA before any final ratification of the ICS provision is applied.

Social Democrats spokesperson for Climate Action and Biodiversity, Jennifer Whitmore TD, said:

“We have written to the Taoiseach and each Joint Oireachtas Committee seeking support for this proposal before any further ratification of CETA is voted on. The public want a thorough debate on this complex, intergenerational trade agreement and they deserve, at the very least, for their public representatives to scrutinise this in full.”

February 17, 2021

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