Government may not be able to prevent fracking if new EU-US trade agreement ratified

Attack on national sovereignty

Pact would let predatory entities sue state for potential loss of revenue

Alleged ‘Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton has signed letter supporting ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) without recourse to the Oireachtas’

Sligo News File Online.

Matt Carthy, MEP, Sinn Fein.
Matt Carthy, MEP, Sinn Fein.

Speaking at a conference organised by Sinn Fein, party MEP for the Midlands and North West, Matt Carty outlined how the proposed EU-US treaty known as the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership could subvert or, as he stated, limit the power of the government with respect to fracking in rural parts of Ireland.

Pointing out that the TTIP could restrict the power of EU EU-US TTIP Deal Pic 1Governments to ban fracking, he said the deal or agreement  currently being negotiated between the US and the EU “allows investors and private companies sue the Government for potential
loss of revenue.”

He said:

“Hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, has the potential to cause serious environmental pollution and damage to fish stocks and livestock.

“It also poses a very real threat to the success of our farming industry, the tourism industry and the health and safety of rural communities. Fracking is widely opposed by those living in rural areas.

“At the moment, there is a moratorium on fracking in place in Ireland, subject to the completion of a scientific survey by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“A similar moratorium in place in Canada is currently the subject of a law suit worth $250 million taken by private investors to protect against potential profit loss.

“The case is being taken under an Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism, which allows private companies sue the state outside of the normal court system in tribunals, which are usually investor biased. To date Canada has paid out over $170 million in ISDS settlements.

“The EU-US trade deal currently being negotiated contains a similar ISDS provision and will allow private investors take legal action against the Irish Government for potential loss of revenue.

“ISDS is widely opposed across Europe – 97% of respondents to the largest ever online consultation held by the European Commission stated their opposition to the inclusion of ISDS in TTIP.

“Despite this, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton signed a letter supporting ISDS without recourse to the Oireachtas and in the absence of the completion of the study by Copenhagan Economics on the impact of TTIP on Ireland.

“I am calling on the Irish Government to make a firm commitment that they will not sign any trade deal which places the rights of private investors and corporations ahead of those of Irish people and communities.”

Editor.

Points further to Mr. Carty’s presentation:

The deal provides for secretive panels of corporate lawyers as judges with power to override the will of Oireachtas and smash legal protections.

Affected citizens and communities would have no legal standing to challenge decisions.

There would be no right of appeal againt ruling of panels.

Brussels has promised extra safeguards following protests by trade unions and anti-poverty campaigners.

The final draft of the trade deal is expected at the end of the year.

The deal has to be ratified by the 28 governments of the EU. However, the newly elected Greek (Syriza) government has already said it will not approve the pact.