Trojan Horse CETA: Protests arise after agreement approval

Alicia WestFeb 16, 2017

On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted to ratify the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Ability for European companies to expand in the Canadian market as access to European markets (the UK's single biggest trading partner) is cut.

Last month Liam Fox, the trade secretary, visited his Canadian counterpart, François-Philippe Champagne, in Montreal.

MEPs also gave their consent to the conclusion of an EU-Canada Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA).

CETA is supposed to boost trade by removing tariffs on most traded goods and services and providing mutual recognition of certification for a wide range of products.

"That means that the global trading and security architecture to which we owe our unprecedented peace and prosperity is also threatened as never before".

"What will happen is more and more deregulation, less social protection for citizens, for small companies, for independent workers", said Maika Fernandes, who had traveled from Alicante, southern Spain.


After three hours of debate on Wednesday and years of negotiations preceding that, the EU's legislature approved the deal by a margin of 408 for, 254 against with 33 abstentions, allowing for its provisional entry into force.

"But the deal's European Union negotiator, Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem te in the public interest". The strength of public opposition to the deal meant that the commission conceded that national parliaments must agree before it comes into full effect, and there's every chance that that won't happen in countries like Austria and Belgium.

Parties on both the right and the left opposed the agreement.

In France, the leftwing candidate to the elections, Jean-Luc Melenchon disputed the agreement.

Trudeau will use his keynote address to warn that more needs to be done to address the anxieties of middle-class people who aren't getting ahead, because if nothing is done to ease those concerns, the world will have larger problems on its hands, officials say.

The decision from European Union parliament came as a boon for the Canadian economy as its biggest trade partner and next door neighbour the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and asked to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Greenpeace EU trade policy adviser Shira Stanton said: "Despite today's vote, the ratification of CETA by all of Europe's parliaments is still the most unlikely outcome".

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