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Greens Support Anderton's call on Singapore

15 August 2000

Greens Support Anderton's call for parliament to decide Singapore Free Trade Agreement

The Green Party says it's delighted the Deputy Prime Minister is calling for a parliamentary debate and vote on the Singapore Free Trade Agreement to determine whether the government should ratify it or not.

"The Greens support Jim Anderton's call for free trade agreements to be subject to full parliamentary scrutiny," Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

"Treaties such as the one proposed with Singapore are far more significant than most domestic legislation yet until now governments have always exerted their prerogative without recourse to a parliamentary debate.

"We are pleased to see Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton's statement that the public will be able to comment on the treaty text at the select committee stage," he said.

"We hope he means what he says and we look forward to a full select committee process, including public submissions, before a debate and vote in parliament.

"Such a course of action would enable the Alliance to vote with the Greens against the Singapore agreement and force Labour to rely on National to prop up their globalisation agenda.

"Even if the agreement proceeds it would still be by a better process than 16 Labour cabinet ministers using the crown prerogative to lock the whole country into a deal which is questionable at best and disastrous at worst," he said.

For further information contact: Rod Donald 025 507 183

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