Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy.
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy will host a briefing in the European Parliament Office on Lower Mount Street, Dublin at 7pm this evening (Thursday, June 15), on the controversial EU-Canada Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the proposed controversial Investment Court included in both.
Matthias Kelly QC SC will give the meeting an update on the situation regarding the requirement for constitutional change in Ireland before any trade deal which includes provision for the Investment Court can be ratified.
In effect, Mr Kelly will outline his informed view that a referendum will be required.
Matt Carthy said: "The European Court of Justice has said that new Free Trade Agreements can only be concluded by the EU and Member States acting together.
"It has ruled that the regime governing dispute settlement between investors and States cannot be established without the Member States consent.
"That judgement reinforces legal opinion that Matthias Kelly has prepared for me that outlines that a constitutional referendum will be required in Ireland on the recently concluded EU-Canada trade agreement (CETA) due to the inclusion of the anti-democratic Investment Court proposal before the Government can sign up to it.
“One of the reasons Sinn Féin campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty was due to the included expansion of the scope of the EU’s competence over external trade policy to include not only trade in goods, but also trade in services, intellectual property and foreign direct investment.
"We correctly predicted that the Commission would use these increased powers to pursue a regressive, dangerous trade agenda. The European Court of Justice judgement proves that they have gone even further than their competencies allowed.
“It is now clear that the Commission is not competent to conclude free trade deals like TTIP and CETA on its own. It must act jointly with national parliaments and governments, giving them a much increased role in the process.
“The Irish Government must therefore review its position on a referendum on the CETA and specifically the inclusion of an Investment Court that would allow corporations sue governments for enacting progressive legislation, if it impacts on profits.
"All the evidence suggests that a referendum is required.
"The government shouldn’t have to be brought to court themselves in order for that referendum to be held."