Thursday, 17 December 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
There are 200 countries in the world and Ireland is probably in the top 20 in terms of wealth and living standards. That is not because we have fabulous oil wealth or gas or diamonds.
We have to pay our way in the world. That means we have to produce goods and services and we have to trade them internationally. That is why we are a relatively wealthy and prosperous country. There is nobody in the world willing to pay us a basic income. Accordingly, our jobs and our economy are dependent on trade, on what we produce and on the services we sell abroad. That is why it has always been our policy to have a pro-business environment, one that attracts investment and to be an early adopter of trade deals. That sends out a clear message that this is a country open to trade and investment. We want to be one of the first countries to ratify trade agreements, not the country that is late or holds it up. That is why it is to our advantage.
On CETA and the investor court system, under the revised text, the right of member states and Canada to regulate public policy, such as health, environment and security, is fully preserved. It is made clear that the deal does not imply an expectation that public policies will remain unchanged and an investor's loss of profits will not be sufficient grounds for making a claim against a government. Any claim must be based on discrimination and unfair treatment.