Walkom: The Loose Thread That Could Unravel Canada-EU Trade Deal

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Media Mention

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Toronto Star


The Canadian government has suffered another setback in its elusive search for a trade and investment deal with the European Union. The EU's top court has confirmed that in at least one controversial area, such deals must be approved by all 28 of the organization's member states.

Since some EU members, such as Belgium, require the consent of regional as well as national legislatures, this confirms Ottawa's worst fears: the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU must be OK’d by no fewer than 38 separate European parliaments before it comes into full effect.

Tuesday's ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union was ostensibly about a 2013 free trade deal between Singapore and the EU. But it sets a precedent for similar yet far more important pacts, including CETA.