Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday October 26, 2016
The collapse of the EU/Canada landmark deal shows how the EU sets itself up for failure
The European Union is on the brink of witnessing a landmark free-trade deal crumble before its very eyes.
But the structure of the EU effectively allows the likelihood of these kinds of deals to collapse at the very last minute, said a trade expert to Business Insider.
CETA, a proposed free-trade arrangement between the 28-nation bloc and Canada, looks set to collapse after the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to support the deal on Monday.
The deal has taken over seven years to negotiate, with talks between the EU and Canada beginning in 2009.
Failure to push it through would be a serious blow to the Union, as it would cast serious doubt on its ability to strike any future trade deal, including with post-Brexit Britain.
Donald Tusk, the European Council president, hinted that failure to complete CETA would make striking a similar deal with Britain once it withdraws from the bloc almost impossible.
“If you are not able to convince people that trade agreements are in their interests … we will have no chance to build public support for free trade, and I am afraid that means that CETA could be our last free-trade agreement,” he said. (Source: Business Insider UK)