Published: Wed, 24 January 2024
Seán Kelly MEP and a Member of the European Parliament’s Trade Committee is urging Ireland and the nine other EU countries yet to ratify the bloc’s trade deal with Canada to do so as soon as possible. “The trading benefits for Irish business and job benefits are too great to lose out on. Once the legally required steps are concluded, I would urge the Irish government to proceed quickly in finalising ratification”, said MEP Kelly.
On the current state-of-play of the deal (the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement/CETA), Mr Kelly praised its results so far. “There has been 30 percent growth in trade between Ireland and Canada in the last number of years”. The Ireland South MEP also underlined that trade with Canada is also responsible for “creating 75 000 jobs across Europe”.
“When many businesses across Ireland are still facing tough times post-pandemic, we should embrace trading opportunities with a like-minded country such as Canada.
“I was disappointed, like my colleagues in Fine Gael in Ireland, and others as well, that the Supreme Court ruled the ratification of CETA was unconstitutional, according to the Irish Constitution. But thankfully, it doesn’t require a referendum. An amendment to the Arbitration Act of 2010 will be sufficient and I know this is being looked at by the Department. However, it is important to note it has provisional application already”, Mr Kelly continued.
The Fine Gael MEP continued: “Ireland and the other nine countries that haven’t ratified it should ratify it as quickly as possible”.
“Canada is a great country and it welcomed and gave jobs to an awful lot of Europeans at the time of the recession here, when they couldn’t get jobs in Europe. A trade agreement would open up the Canadian market to Irish exporters, providing Irish and European consumers with a greater level of opportunity. The CETA agreement includes a range of protections for consumers, Member State Governments, investors and producers”, Kelly added.
“In 2021, Ireland exported €165.7 billion worth of goods, importing only €103.8 billion of goods. We are open economy that benefits massively from global trade. Being part of the EU and negotiating trade agreements as part of large block is very important for Ireland. Although we have a strong economy, we still are a small county. The benefits of EU membership are clear when you look at the difficulties that the UK is having as it tries to negotiate its own trade agreements. Negotiations between the UK and Canada have stalled and the deal they reached with New Zealand is not as good for domestic producers when compared to the EU agreement”, Kelly concluded.