I hope that the lesson will be learned that discussions for a trade agreement between the EU and the UK must be a priority for civil society groups across Europe. While the discussions are starting us with many difficult discussions, it would be both strange and sad if a CETA agreement between the EU and the UK did not elicit at least the same civic engagement and level of control as CETA in the end. Whether or not it is a global agreement, it will have a strong influence on life on both sides of the Channel. That is why it is essential that civil society organisations are involved in trade negotiations, both in the UK and within the EU. In an interview with reporters on Saturday, International Trade Minister Mary Ng said the interim agreement largely replicated the conditions under CETA, but she warned that the deal “is not just a matter of copying and pasting.” “There will always be strict provisions on labour, environment, regulatory cooperation, dispute resolution, etc.,” she said. “It also protects Canadian products that are controlled by supply, which is why I want to make it very clear that there is no new market access for cheese in this transition agreement.” Negotiating a new comprehensive bilateral trade agreement between the two countries, which could be fully ratified and in force before January 1, was difficult, as the British had no competence for their own trade affairs until the end of their exit from the EU. | SEE British High Commissioner to Canada on agreement on what it means: Critics argue that the deal is excessively business-friendly and could lead to lower regulatory standards. Opponents of CETA are still not convinced by the reforms to investment rules and say these foreign investors could grant special privileges and deter governments from legislating in the public interest for fear of litigation. The Belgian government has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union for an opinion on the compatibility of CETA with EU law.
In April 2019, the ECJ ruled that CETA was compatible with EU law. The process of ratifying trade agreements has also been criticized, including the fact that CETA was “provisionally applied”, before the parliaments of EU member states had the opportunity to ratify it. Canada and Britain reach a post-Brexit interim trade agreement On November 21, 2020, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) announced that Canada (CA) and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement on an interim agreement: the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (CA-UK TCA). CA-UK TCA is a transitional agreement that ensures the continuity of key benefits currently covered under the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), including 98% duty-free trade between the two countries. In addition, the two governments will have additional time to negotiate a comprehensive long-term bilateral agreement. The CA-UK TCA must be fully ratified by both governments before entering into force on 1 January 2021. However, Canadian businesses should consider the impact that the new relationship between the UK and the EU could have at the end of the transition period, including a result without a trade agreement, and take appropriate steps to mitigate the risks. Many statements from governments and business groups indicate the threats that could materialize. These include giving excessive powers to large companies, including the crucial financial sector; they include ways to circumvent democratic decision-making in the name of reciprocal market access; And these threats are also embedded in the process, i.e. how the entire debate on an important deal could become an opaque enterprise of government officials and corporate lobbyists. “Regulatory cooperation” is not only popular in the financial sector. It`s become the mantra of big business because it seems like squaring a circle.
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