European Parliament to vote on CETA this week

European Parliament MEPs will vote this week on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The agreement, the aim of which is to boost goods and services trade and investment flows, received the backing of MEPs from the International Trade Committee last month.

Rapporteur for the CETA agreement Artis Pabriks (EPP, LV), said that approving the deal was a significant step forward.

“In the face of rising protectionism and populism, Parliament is able and willing to act on behalf of European citizens.

“I stand for a strong and global Europe and for open markets. Ratifying this agreement with Canada will enable trade to continue to bring wealth to both shores of our transatlantic friendship,” he said.

Speaking to Europarl Radio in October of last year, Fine Gael MEP, Sean Kelly said that the trade deal with Canada €12 billion extra per year.

“That’s a huge amount of jobs and greater exports across all sectors.”

Also speaking to Europarl Radio was Mairead McGuinness, who said that Canada is a developed country, a friend of Europe with very good records.

For us to suggest that there’s anything evil in doing a trade deal with them is just crazy. It is a good thing that we can do a trade deal with Canada.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has called on all Irish MEPs to oppose CETA when it comes before the European Parliament this week.

“Irish people have been kept entirely in the dark about the hugely controversial CETA trade deal, which was negotiated behind closed doors with every effort being made to restrict any democratic oversight.

“With the deal now done, CETA champions want it ratified quickly and quietly. Next Wednesday, February 15, the Parliament will have a final vote on this dangerous deal, providing all Irish MEPs with a chance to stand up and be counted.”

Carthy also said that coupled with other EU trade deals coming down the line CETA will be devastating for Irish agriculture, farming families and rural communities.

“An EU Commission study has predicted a “steep drop in beef meat prices by between 8-16%” as a result of CETA and similar trade deals.

“MEPs can support Irish farmers or they can support CETA. They cannot do both.”