Thursday, 17 December 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, CETA, is a mixed agreement which means that there can be multiple components. In this case there are two components - the trade component, which is in operation since 2017 and will continue in operation, and the investor courts component, which is the bit that is highly controversial and about which there are concerns that it will lead to an undermining of governments' ability to make decisions on behalf of their people in case they get sued for future profits.
The investor courts component is the component that we have to vote on and that was to go before the Dáil last week. That component requires all member states to sign up to it. Currently, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and ourselves have yet to sign up to it. I am wondering what is the rush in the Government wanting to sign up to this when the trade agreement is operating separately. What are the benefits to it? Will the Government commit to a risk analysis prior to any debate in the Dáil?