Following the Wallonian parliament’s decision today not to give the Belgium federal government permission to sign the CETA agreement, David Martin, Labour MEP for Scotland, International Trade Spokesperson for the Socialists and Democrats group and Shadow Rapporteur for the CETA agreement, said:
“Today’s landmark decision by the Walloon regional parliament deals a hammer-blow to the principles underpinning EU trade policy and undermines the European Parliament’s democratic competency in these matters. That a regional parliament representing 3.5 million can derail a trade deal for the whole continent raises fundamental questions about the EU’s role as a global actor.
The Wallonian response to the CETA agreement should send shivers down the spine of Brexit negotiators in London. Britain’s final deal with the EU will too be subject to the whim of 38 national and regional parliaments. As we have seen in francophone Belgium public opinion in the rest of Europe is volatile on questions of trade and deluded Brexiteers will get a shock if they think our partners are going to give us an easy ride.”