Mairead McGuinnes welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Thursday – but thankfully for the Fine Gael MEP from Ardee, not as much was made of this encounter than of Trudeau’s visit to the White House on Monday.
McGuinness greeted the Canadian premier upon his arrival to the European Parliament on Thursday morning to discuss the EU’s trade partnership with Canada – known as CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). The EU Parliament approved the deal on Wednesday, with a wide margin of 408, 254 against and 33 abstentions.
McGuinness’ meeting with Trudeau went fairly under the radar – unlike encounters between the Canadian PM and Ivanka Trump at the White House on Monday. Photos of the meeting became an internet sensation after it appeared Donald Trump’s daughter was somewhat taken with Trudeau. Photos have since emerged of other figures including Angela Merkel appearing to be left swooning by the charming Prime Minister.
Despite, hundreds of protesters gathering outside the European Parliament building in Strasbourg in Northern France ahead of the vote, it has been provisionally passed and Trudeau has welcomed the news. Critics fear the deal will hand too much power to multinational companies and will undermine the EU’s environmental, labour and consumer standards.
There are fears that the deal could impact negatively on Irish agriculture, especially on beef farmers. Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy, who lives in Carrickmacross, said “It will further distort trade and wealth in favour of larger multinational corporations at the expense of indigenous business.
“Coupled with other EU trade deals coming down the line, CETA will be devastating for Irish agriculture, farming families and rural communities,” he continued. “There are huge implications now for the Irish beef sector which will face the prospect of 50,000t of Canadian beef imports.”
— Mairead McGuinness (@MaireadMcGMEP) February 16, 2017