European Parliament approves trade deal with Canada

Members of the European Parliament voted Wednesday in favour of a comprehensive trade deal with Canada

"This leaves us with much to worry about in any future trade deals the government negotiates, in particular with Donald Trump's U.S.".

The deal was not resoundingly endorsed by the European Union parliament, with 58 percent of its members supporting CETA after a boisterous debate that saw tempers flare repeatedly.

Supporters claim the pact will be worth £1.3bn (C$2.1bn) a year to Britain alone, in the period before the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, however, welcomed the deal: "Today's vote by the European Parliament is an important milestone in the democratic process of ratification of the agreement reached with Canada and it also allows for its provisional entry into force".

Guy Taylor, a trade campaigner for Global Justice Now, told Sputnik that "We'll have to see what happens but I think there's every chance one of the major states could reject it and that would be curtains for CETA". Ceta has been described as the little brother of equally opposed US-EU trade deal "TTIP", which looks to have collapsed following widespread opposition previous year.

Police reported 700 people protested.

The activists tried to enter the European Parliament building but were prevented from doing so by police.

By 408 votes in favor, 254 against and 33 abstentions, the eurodeputies accepted the deal known as CETA. However, CETA will also need to be ratified by national and regional parliaments.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to address the legislature on Thursday - a first for a Canadian leader - and to address top business leaders a day later in Germany. It is now their job to defend the agreement in front of their own parliaments.

It took eight years to get to this point - negotiations began in 2009, and it will be at least until April 1 before the deal takes effect, an European Union press release stated.

The political confusion around FTAs [editor's note: "free trade agreements] has bottomed out", he said.

Approval of the measures by the EU Council would be expected tighten the rules on the EU ETS, bringing in a more rapid removal of surplus allowances from the system which could raise the cost of emitting Carbon dioxide for Europe's power plants, airlines and operators of refineries, metals and chemical manufacturing plants, among others.



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