Green TD lodges legal challenge to EU-Canada trade deal

Patrick Costello and Neasa Hourigan are steadfast that they would not be voting for the deal.
Green TD lodges legal challenge to EU-Canada trade deal

A Green Party TD has lodged a High Court challenge against the Government over a controversial international trade deal.

The Green Party's Patrick Costello lodged the challenge on Monday against the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (Ceta) between the EU and Canada.

The Irish Examiner reports that Mr Costello told his parliamentary party, including the leadership, on Monday evening. However, Government members had not yet been informed on Tuesday night.

The Ceta deal has been a bone of contention within the Green Party for months, with TDs Neasa Hourigan and Mr Costello steadfast that they would not be voting for the deal.

The trade deal removes most barriers on imports between the EU and Canada.

It has been ratified by some EU member states, however it has faced opposition in Ireland.

Critics of the deal have raised concerns over the investor court system, which will allow corporations to sue the Government for discriminatory practices and regulations that impact their profits.

Opponents of the deal also say it could harm workers’ rights and regulations brought in to tackle environmental problems.

The Green Party has campaigned against Ceta for years.

The party sought a postponement of a planned debate and vote on Ceta in December – despite Green Cabinet ministers agreeing to support the deal in November.

The Greens have been plagued with internal divisions since they entered Government. They have lost four councillors and are potentially poised to lose Mr Costello and Ms Hourigan if the Ceta vote, in its current form, goes ahead.

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