Cabinet has still not seen report into Ceta deal

Cabinet has still not seen report into Ceta deal

Sinn Féin Senator Lynn Boylan: 'I find it astounding and reckless that the Government were prepared to rush through the ratification of Ceta without carrying out any analysis.' Picture:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Cabinet has yet to see the economic report into the controversial Ceta agreement despite a vote being called on the trade deal last year.

A Freedom of Information request to access the economic impact report, which was carried out by Copenhagen Economics, a leading economic consultancy group, was partly refused, with the reasoning that: "given that the study in question has not yet been formally submitted to Government for consideration... its premature release could adversely affect the deliberative process".

Correspondence released through Freedom of Information shows the final report "to focus on completed and applied FTAs (Korea, Japan, Canada and Mexico)" was submitted to the assistant principal in the Trade Policy Unit in late February 2020 at a cost of €28,000.

The trade deal is currently at the centre of a High Court challenge from Green Party TD Patrick Costello. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins
The trade deal is currently at the centre of a High Court challenge from Green Party TD Patrick Costello. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta), a free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, was due to be ratified in the Dáil after a 55-minute debate in December.

The vote did not go ahead after two Green Party TDs made it clear they would not vote for the bill, along with the majority of the opposition.

A spokesperson for the Department of Trade told the Irish Examiner: "An Tánaiste is committed to publishing the recently concluded 'Four EU Free Trade Agreements – Opportunities and Impacts for Ireland' report once it has been considered by Government. This report includes an analysis of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement known as Ceta.

"An Tánaiste anticipates that he will bring the report to Government in the coming weeks."

Senator Lynn Boylan, the Sinn Féin spokesperson on climate justice, said: "I find it astounding and reckless that the Government were prepared to rush through the ratification of Ceta without carrying out any analysis.

"Now in a bid to give them cover, they have commissioned a report but it remains to be seen if it will include a risk analysis of the investor court system and the level of financial exposure Ireland could face, given the country's high concentration of FDI."

If ratified, Ceta would allow corporations to sue the Irish State through an 'Investor Court System’ over regulatory decisions that negatively impact their profits, which campaigners say could have disastrous effects on the ability to tackle the climate emergency.

The trade deal is currently at the centre of a High Court challenge from Green Party TD Patrick Costello.

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From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

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