The European Union is determined to sign a free trade agreement with Canada, especially in the aftermath of last week’s Brexit vote, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
“There’s not the slightest whisper of discontent over the deal,” Minister Chrystia Freeland said.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is expected to be signed before U.K triggers article 50, which would start the process of its exit from the EU.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is essentially free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. The negotiations were concluded in August 2014 with the agreement to be approved by the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and potentially all EU member states. If approved, the agreement would eliminate 98% of the tariffs between Canada and the EU. It has attracted controversy due to its role for investor state tribunals
“CETA is more than alive, CETA is absolutely moving forward,” she said assuring people that the Brexit vote did not have any adverse effect on the decision.
Freeland recently told a news organization that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spoken with European Council President Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who, like others in the EU, want the trade deal to go through.
The leaders “reaffirm their commitment toward the ratification of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement,” the PMO said.Article 50 is a provision of the Lisbon Treaty that can be used by a member state to withdraw from the European Union. The process begins with a member state telling the European Council it wishes to leave the club, starting a two year negotiation period for withdrawal, although negotiations can be extended beyond those two years.
However, CETA will not be impacted by the Article 50 negotiations, and is said to be a “gold standard agreement” that will be a model trade deal for the rest of the world.
CETA will be Canada’s biggest bilateral initiative since NAFTA.