The Unite union has today called on the Government to heed the findings of a recent poll which showed almost two-thirds of people in Ireland favour a referendum on TTIP and CETA.
The recent Red C poll found that 74% of those polled believe that the proposed trade deals should be put to a referendum, with the figure rising to 80% among women and 82% among those aged 18-24.
The poll, commissioned by the campaign organisation Uplift with the support of Unite, also found that just 20% of respondents believe that US or Canadian corporations should be allowed to sue EU governments in respect of policy or legislative changes which might affect profits.
“Unite has consistently argued that the implications of TTIP and CETA are so far-reaching that they need to be put to a referendum, and these poll findings show that 74% of respondents – nearly three quarters agree,” said Unite regional secretary Jimmy Kelly today.
“Both proposed deals include so-called investment court systems – unaccountable arbitration bodies which will allow private corporations to bypass Irish courts and sue governments for compensation in respect of policies which reduce current or anticipated profits.
“Such policies could include labour rights, consumer protections and environmental regulations.
“Again, the verdict of public opinion is unequivocal: just 20% of those polled by Red C believe that US or Canadian corporations should be allowed to sue European governments in respect of policy or legislative changes which may affect their profits.
“Unite is calling on the Government to heed these poll findings and state now that these deals will be put to the people in a referendum before Ireland signs up to them.”
Uplift Director Siobhan O’Donoghue added: “This Red C poll shows clearly that Irish people stand for democracy and want the right to decide on these toxic deals. Government is listening to big business, not the people who they are elected to serve.
“A referendum on TTIP and CETA would balance the power of corporations and put the decision on the future of our democracy in the hands that matter - the people’s hands.
“Expert legal opinion says the government could be constitutionally required to hold a referendum on certain aspects of the deals specifically, the part that allows corporations to sue governments in private”, Ms O’Donoghue noted.
RED C interviewed a random sample of 1004 adults aged 18+ by telephone between June 11-13, 2016.