Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement: Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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I would like to have had it ratified. It was approved by Cabinet last December. There was to be a vote in the Dáil but we decided not to go ahead with it because people wanted more time for more scrutiny. There have been a number of committee hearings. As the Deputy said, the EU committee has produced its report. There is a legal challenge to the agreement but the High Court judgment on it is very clear; there is no requirement to have a referendum for an agreement of this nature. Court challenges and committee hearings are holding us up at the moment but, ultimately, while the committee hearings and court cases are interesting to have, they will not change anyone's mind on this. People are in favour of this agreement or they are not. There is a majority in the Dáil to ratify it and I would like to see that vote happen, but we do not have a date set for that as yet.