Thursday, October 27, 2016

Canada Trade deal back on - progress on issues with Belgian regions ...

It appears that CETA, the trade deal between the EU and Canada, may have been rescued: the BBC is reporting  here that the Belgian PM says an agreement has been reached with the six regional parliaments including those which were blocking the deal and therefore the agreement can be signed next week.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said that an agreement" was found after the latest round of negotiations with Belgium's French-speaking communities who had been holding up the deal.

A signing ceremony on Thursday was cancelled after the region of Wallonia vetoed the agreement.

A Belgian deal would still have to be approved by the other 27 EU members. Under Belgium's federal system, the national government cannot sign the deal unless all six regional parliaments approve it.
French-speaking Wallonia, a staunchly socialist region of 3.6 million people, had been leading objections to the deal, demanding stronger safeguards on labour, environmental and consumer standards. However, after the latest round of marathon talks, Mr Michel tweeted:

"All parliaments are now able to approve by tomorrow at midnight. Important step for EU and Canada."

He said regional politicians agreed a revised text that would allay "outstanding concerns" but gave no details. The deal was welcomed by the head of the Wallonian government, Paul Magnette.

No comments: