Green Party calls for Dáil debate on TTIP following leaking of documents

Eamon Ryan says there is 'worrying lack of public awareness' about negotiations on the controversial proposed trade deal

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People read documents on the Trans-Atlantic talks to create a massive free trade zone between the United States and the European Union in a 'TTIP reading room' set up by Greenpeace in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Image: Ferdinand Ostrop / AP/Press Association Images

The Green Party has called for a Dáil debate on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), following the leaking of documents related to negotiations between the EU and US.

Greenpeace released documents which they described as making clear "the scale and scope of the trade citizens of the United States and the European Union are being asked to make in pursuit of corporate profits".

The environmental organisation made the leaked documents available online.

The leaks cover the draft text that was in place ahead of the latest round of talks on TTIP, which took place in New York last week.

The Green Party here says there is a 'worrying lack of public awareness' about the secret negotiations into the controversial proposed trade deal.

Party leader and TD Eamon Ryan said, “we have long suspected that TTIP could threaten EU protections in a range of areas, and these leaked documents seem to confirm that. It is unacceptable that, even after 14 rounds of negotiations, the only information publically available on the content of the negotiations has come through leaks".

Calling for a Dáil debate on TTIP, Deputy Ryan added, "if consumer protection, environmental protection, health and public services are under threat to the extent these documents reveal, European citizens deserve to know. If the concerns raised in the leaks prove true, our Government must veto TTIP in the European Council".

There have been numerous objections raised over any potential trade deal, with one of the main concerns being that the deal could potentially give companies legal rights that are more powerful than those of individual states.

Protests against TTIP have been held across Europe over the last several years, with tens of thousands having participated in demonstrations in Germany.

President Barack Obama has said he "does not anticipate" being able to complete ratification of a deal by the end of this year, but is hoping to complete the agreement by the end of his term in office.