Greens demand ‘toxic trade deal’ be examined by European Court of Justice

Greens will tomorrow present a motion to the European Parliament calling for the CETA trade deal between the EU and Canada to be examined by judges of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). As well as the potential negative social and environmental impacts of the Free Trade Agreement, Greens believe that there is legal uncertainty as to whether the proposed agreement is compatible with certain EU Treaties.

In particular, the proposed Investor Court System (ICS) would enable corporations to sue governments for passing legislation that could harm their profits. Greens believe that such a system should be subjected to proper legal scrutiny by the ECJ before coming into force to ensure it is compatible with existing EU treaties and laws.

A vote for a debate ahead of the vote has already been rejected, with Conservative and some Labour MEPs voting against. Tory MEPs have already indicated they will vote against sending CETA to the ECJ. Molly said:

“It seems like the government’s interpretation of ‘Take back control’ is to stifle debate and try and block courts from making rulings on issues of national and international significance.

“I was shocked that Conservative MEPs voted to prevent the European Parliament having a full debate on this crucial issue of whether private corporate courts break EU law. The system of secret, corporate courts proposed within CETA represents a massive corporate power grab. These courts are likely to have a chilling effect on governments seeking to improve social and environmental standards, so it is crucial that this dodgy proposal receives legal scrutiny.

“Having been bruised by the courts over article 50, it seems the government are running scared of democracy.”