It's true that CETA has been brought back from the dead for now - but it is a ticking time bomb
The controversial trade deal between Canada and the EU was due to be signed on Thursday, but was postponed following opposition from one of the regional Belgian parliaments. An agreement was later reached to appease the Wallonian parliament, but the deal has still yet to be signed.
Nick Dearden, the director of Global Justice Now says: "Essentially the EU's trade policy now lies in tatters. It's true that CETA has been brought back from the dead for now - but it is a ticking time bomb.
"The Wallonia parliament has been promised it will be able to stop the ratification of CETA when it gets a formal vote on it, and unless there are substantial changes, it - and hopefully other parliaments - will use that veto. What's more, the whole ‘corporate court' concept will now go to the highest European court to adjudicate on its legality - something which risks invalidating the EU's entire trade agenda.
"This is a good example of democracy in action. Meanwhile Liam Fox should hang his head in shame. While Wallonia has managed to spend days scrutinising CETA, and prioritising the concerns of its citizens, the British parliament has been entirely overridden by our government. It has not had a single debate. So much for taking back the power."
Critics have argued that:
- CETA contains a ‘Regulatory Cooperation' chapter which threatens to hand multinationals a greater role in the formulation of making laws, and sparking a race to the bottom in standards for important areas like food safety and environmental regulation.
- CETA will make it more difficult for governments to regulate the banking sector to prevent the sort of financial crises experiencedin 2008.
- CETA negotiations have already laid the basis for tar sands oil - one of the world's most environmentally destructive fossil fuels - to flow into Europe. If CETA comes into effect, the import and production of this toxic fuel will increase, devastating the environment.
- CETA's locks in privatisation and deregulation at current levelsfor a wide range of services.