Following this morning's announcement from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), that the EU’s free trade deal with Singapore must be ratified by a total of 43 national and regional parliaments, David Martin, Scottish MEP, S&D spokesperson for trade with South East Asia and Rapporteur for the EU-Singapore FTA, said:
"The good news is that today’s ruling by the ECJ finally unblocks the EU Singapore trade deal, which hopefully can be referred to the European Parliament soon for ratification. However, the implications of the ECJ’s decision are manifold and require careful consideration.
"EU trade policy must find the right balance between democratic accountability and effectiveness. The EU’s credibility as an international dealmaker and the very future of our trade policy are at stake and our partners are closely watching our every move."
"Today’s ruling will have a significant impact on its current and future trade agreements, including the post-Brexit deal.
Any agreement containing investor to state arbitration will have to be ratified by over forty different parliaments across the EU before entering into force. This process could take up to a decade, and that's on top of the time needed for negotiations in the first place.
As we saw with CETA, the EU-Canada trade deal, this extended ratification process also creates opportunities for smaller regions like Wallonia to block the whole agreement, thereby increasing the risk of failure and a catastrophic 'no deal' scenario."