Tuesday 19 March 2019

SF opposed new EU free-trade deal with Singapore

MEP Sean Kelly. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
MEP Sean Kelly. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Sinn Féin's MEPs voted against a new trade deal which will gradually eliminate tariffs on goods moving between the EU and Singapore over the next five years.

The party, along with Independent MEPs Luke 'Ming' Flanagan and Nessa Childers, went against the landmark deal earlier this week.

Firms of all sizes should find it easier to export to the growing economy as a result of the deal - but Sinn Féin raised concerns about a section which sets up an Investment Court System (ICS).

The court will be charged with assessing disputes, but Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy said it posed "a serious threat to our democracy, our legislative sovereignty and our constitutional integrity".

However, Fine Gael MEP Seán Kelly argues the ICS will ensure investment protection rules are adhered to and transparency improved.

He said "from an Irish perspective" the benefits of the deal are "clear, and particularly for our agri-food sectors".

"International trade is vitally important to our economy. For MEPs, particularly Irish ones, to vote against such an agreement is downright ridiculous and demonstrates their disinterest in creating jobs," he said.

"Trade with countries outside the EU provides jobs for 31 million Europeans. That means one in seven jobs in the EU depends on exports."

Irish Independent

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