Status: Not Ratified

Ireland has a bicameral system (Dáil Éireann and Seannad Éireann) but only requires the Dáil to ratify CETA. The Irish government includes the Green party, which is internally split on CETA. In November 2022, the Irish Supreme Court ruled, in a case brought by a Green parliamentarian, that parliamentary ratification presupposes changes to the country’s Arbitration Act; otherwise it would be unconstitutional. This decision is likely to further    prolong the ratification process.

Public debate

The large parties in the Irish coalition government, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and Prime Minister Micheál Martin support CETA. However, the Green Party is split. While Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, supports CETA’s ratification, Green lawmaker Patrick Costello brought the court challenge that contributed to delaying ratification. The decision focuses on CETA’s investment court system, which according to the Supreme Court would require an “unconstitutional transfer of state authority” unless the Arbitration Act is amended. In addition, critics of CETA argue that it weakens environmental protection because it gives large corporations more power. CSOs opposed to CETA include trade unions, environmentalists and consumer advocacy groups, such as the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association and the Irish Wildlife Trust. Proponents of CETA argue that the agreement will increase access to the Canadian market and FDI, as well as procurement tenders. Supporting CSOs include the Ireland-Canada Business Association.

Trade data

Ireland had a trade surplus in goods trade with Canada of €682 million, the fifth highest in the EU, in 2021 (Eurostat). Moreover, imports from Canada were €614 million, 1% of Ireland’s imports from outside the EU. Exports were €1.3 billion, 1.3% of Ireland’s in extra-EU exports (Eurostat). Canada-Ireland bilateral goods trade (imports + exports) grew by €736 million, or 40.4%, between 2016 and 2019 (Statistics Canada).


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