Speaking after the embarrassing defeat for the Government, Sinn Féin Seanad spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh says:
"Sinn Féin have been campaigning in relation to the very serious concerns around CETA for a long time. Our MEP’s have been highlighting the lack of transparency over the negotiations and drafting of this agreement but have been blocked all the way by Fine Gael and their sister parties in Europe.
"Legal advice obtained by Matt Carthy MEP indicates that the creation in the agreement of a Permanent Investment Court removed from any national accountability, for the benefit of international investors and multinationals will infringe on our constitution and will be to the detriment of our citizens.
"He has requested meetings with Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor to discuss this legal advice and to assert the need for a referendum of if CETA is to be foisted upon Irish citizens. She has not responded to these requests.
"The fact that the Government is hell bent on making a ‘Provisional Application’ in support of CETA is also mindboggling as there are cases in the European courts which could affect the nature of the agreement which won’t be decided on until next year. But the government insists on driving forward buying this pig in a poke.
"Civic and social groups across the EU have called on EU governments to reject CETA, including the European Trade Union Confederation, Friends of the Earth, the European Consumers Organisation and the European Anti-Poverty Network.
"Tonight’s defeat for the government in the Seanad should be a wake-up call for them to pull back from the agreement and to support the best interests of Irish citizens in the process."