The European Parliament today gave the green light to the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), paving the way for its provisional application.
David Martin, Labour MEP for Scotland and member of the international trade committee, said:
“CETA is a progressive agreement for Europe and for the UK. Together with our Canadian allies we are standing firm against growing global protectionism, championing open trade in a time when others are losing faith.
Behind the scenes, MEPs have been fighting the corner of EU citizens to secure unprecedented changes to the final text, safeguarding our high standards, public services, workers’ rights and global environmental protection. CETA is not the perfect deal, but we can look back and be very proud of what we have achieved in this process.
This is a watershed moment - EU trade policy will never be the same again.”
On the implications for the potential UK-EU trade deal, Mr Martin added:
“CETA has given us just a small flavour of what to expect when Trade Minister Liam Fox and his raw recruits approach the EU’s battle-hardened trade negotiators for a post-Brexit deal. The process has been long, and a number of concerns - some genuine and some clearly not - have repeatedly stalled progress.
Mr Fox will soon realise that modern trade agreements are not easy to conclude, as they are more about setting global rules than just reducing tariffs. Parliaments are taking back control of trade policy and will not settle for bad, de-regulating deals that have nothing to say on workers and the environment.”