Jude and Paul oppose CETA

Jude and Paul are opposed to CETA but this was unfortunately not the majority view in the European Parliament. CETA was endorsed by 408 MEPs, with 254 voting against and 33 abstentions. A clear majority of Labour MEPs' didn't support the deal.

This vote paves the way for the provisional entry into force of the parts of the agreement that fall within the EU's exclusive competence. Remaining trade tariffs and quotas between the EU and Canada will be liberalised from 1st April 2017. Other elements of the deal will also enter into force on this date, such as measures on food safety standards, labour and the environment, intellectual property and regulatory cooperation.

But this not the end of the road for CETA. Other parts of the deal will not enter into force until all EU 28 member states agree to it, as these parts fall within competences shared between the EU and its member states. The most important element that will not be implemented provisionally is CETA's investment chapter, which include the infamous "Investment Court System".

Should any of the EU 28 member states' national Parliaments – as well as regional parliament in some countries – vote against CETA, ICS will not come into force and the provisional application of the rest of the agreement will be stopped. The ratification of EU trade deals at national level typically takes well over 2 years, and it is extremely unlikely that it will be completed before the UK leaves the European Union.

Whether CETA will continue to apply to UK after Brexit is still unclear: on top of legal uncertainties as to whether the deal – or parts of it – would bind the UK even outside of the EU, the government may well chose to remain part of it, or emulate it in a separate UK-Canada trade deal.

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