November 2016 – CETA

November 2016 – CETA

Thank you for contacting me about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada.  Some constituents writing on this subject also mentioned EDM 165.  By practice I do not sign EDMs, but I will respond on the issue here.

I appreciate your concerns on this issue. As it stands, CETA is expected to be a “mixed” agreement, covering areas of both EU and Member State competence. In this case, it will be subject to agreement by each EU Member State, the EU Council and the European Parliament. In practice EU trade agreements which contain a mixture of EU and Member State competence are agreed by consensus, this means each Member State’s Parliament must agree before the treaty can fully come into force.

Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, the UK will need to begin the process of leaving the EU. The Department for International Trade is examining options to secure continued UK access to the trade preferences negotiated by the European Union to cover the period between leaving the EU and the coming into force of bespoke UK negotiated agreements.  As such, it is unlikely that CETA as it stands will apply to the UK.  Once we make progress on future trading arrangements, we can work to create an advantageous arrangement for the UK and also address any concerns specific to those agreements.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.