Thursday, 18 February 2021
Covid-19 (Enterprise, Trade and Employment): Statements
The only point I would add is that CETA has been in operation in this country for the past two and a half years. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in trade between Ireland and Canada which has been of major benefit to many companies, not only multinational companies to which the Deputy alluded but SMEs as well.
A decision has been taken at Government level to refer this trade agreement to an Oireachtas committee. There is no issue, good, bad or indifferent, with having this debated. Its merits stand up for themselves. In fact, it baffles me that people talk about rushing through this agreement. When the agreement was put before the Business Committee, nobody raised a flag and stated that this was being discussed too quickly. All of a sudden, it is being discussed too quickly. There is no issue. It will be referred to an Oireachtas committee. We will have a robust debate. Certainly, from my perspective, I will have no issue in voting for it because I see the merits of the agreement.