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14.02.2017
Press

MEP will vote against Canada trade agreement

Press release from EFA MEP Jill Evans (Wales)

Plaid MEP Jill Evans will vote against the EU – Canada trade agreement, known as CETA, in the European Parliament this week.

MEPs will vote on the controversial trade deal on Wednesday. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement is a free trade agreement that has been negotiated over the past seven years, largely in secret.

MEP Jill Evans

It requires the consent of the European Parliament before it can come into force, and will then need to be ratified by the parliaments of EU member states. It will affect Wales, even though the UK is leaving the EU.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also address MEPs this week.

Explaining her party's opposition, Jill Evans MEP said:

"I will be voting against this bad deal that will put Welsh workers, consumers, and indeed our democracy at risk.

"CETA will undermine workers' rights and environmental standards. I am particularly concerned that it will weaken our restrictions on GMOs, given that Canada is the world's third largest producer of genetically modified organisms.

"I am also deeply concerned about the so-called “ratchet” and “standstill” clauses in CETA which for the first time establish that privatisations are irreversible while the public sector is still open for privatisation.

"This would establish corporate courts where private companies will be able to sue governments if they introduce laws detrimental to their profits.

"CETA will affect Wales hugely, despite the UK leaving the EU. If CETA is ratified before the UK exits the EU, a new trade agreement between the UK and Canada would need to be renegotiated, but we would still be bound by the investor protection provision aspect of this CETA for 20 years.

"This would mean foreign investors would still have the right to sue both the Welsh Government and the UK Government if they feel their businesses have been impacted by new laws or regulations.

"On top of this, David Davis, the Secretary of State for Leaving the EU has called CETA a good "starting point" for negotiating a trade deal between the UK and the EU, of course, hoping for even greater deregulation.

"I've had a huge amount of lobbying from constituents across the country who are overwhelmingly opposed to CETA.

"It's a bad deal that puts the interests of big business before people, and should be rejected."