CETA: Europe’s free trade agenda on life support

Oct 21, 2016


Responding to the news that the Canadian government has walked away from talks aimed at salvaging the EU-Canada trade agreement, CETA, Syed Kamall MEP, European Conservatives and Reformists group leader in the European Parliament, said:

“Nobody should be pleased to see this turn of events.

We all want to see a strong and prosperous Europe, and the agenda of opening trade across the Atlantic was a critical way for the EU to compete with fast-rising economies that do not always share much-vaunted European values. The irony here is that socialists who claim to want to help Europe’s unemployed have just dealt them a body blow by maintaining artificial trade barriers for small businesses that prevent them from expanding and taking on staff. It also means that consumers will continue to pay more for goods imported from Canada.

“The free trade agenda in Europe is on life support, and countries across the planet that are looking to open trade with the EU will be wondering whether it is worth years of effort. The Walloon parliament was given the power to reject this agreement and it is only right that their decision was respected, but it is also only right that they now understand the consequences of their decision.

“There is one positive outcome. For years, we have sought an answer to the infamous Kissinger question of who to call when you want to speak to Europe. It seems the answer is the Walloon Parliament.”