EU TRADE DISASTER: Deal with Canada on the brink as German party SUES Brussels over CETA
THE European Union’s flagship trade deal with Canada was on the brink of collapse today after a Germany political party sued Brussels over its implementation.
Centre-left Die Linke has launched legal action to block the controversial Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) pact, saying it is unconstitutional under German law.
The party’s attempt to torpedo the hated deal is just the latest in a series of devastating trade blows for the EU, which is unravelling following the Brexit vote.
And it reveals once more the cavernous differences opening up between different member states which have effectively rendered the European project unworkable.
Earlier this month Canada’s despairing Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland asked: “If the EU cannot do a deal with Canada, I think it is legitimate to say who the heck can it do a deal with?”
But now there is a very real prospect that CETA will be torpedoed before it has even left port in a development which will throw the future of a much bigger deal with America into serious doubt.
Negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have ground to a halt, with impatient American officials warning Brussels to stop dragging their heels.
The US chief negotiator said the proposed deal was nowhere near as enticing to Washington now that Britain has left the bloc, comparing a Europe without the UK to an America without California.
Britain will not be affected by either calamity after voting to leave the EU, and is now free to begin informal talks on sealing its own trade deals with Canada, the US and the rest of the world.
Theresa May has set up an independent trade department, headed by Dr Liam Fox, which has already been inundated requests for free trade agreements from the biggest economies across the globe.
Announcing its legal action today Die Linke said CETA, which has involved seven years of negotiations to date, is unconstitutional because it “breaches democratic, constitutional state and social state principles” in Germany.
Its deputy leader in the Bundestag, Klaus Ernst, said: “Since the government obviously feels more strongly bound to the interests of internationally acting corporations than to the interests of the citizens, we see ourselves forced to take legal action.
“I very much hope that CETA will now fail. We can't afford more cutbacks to our democracy."
The party, which handed its legal case to parliamentary authorities on Friday, is arguing that the establishment of an international tribunal to settle trade disputes will “violate the jurisdiction” of the democratically elected Bundestag.
Under the terms of CETA Canadian and US corporations will be able to sue European governments through an unelected, unaccountable body if EU leaders make policy decisions which are seen to negatively affect their business prospects.
Legal experts have warned that the wording of the deal means big business will be able to dismantle European public services under competition laws and could prevent member states from taking simple steps like increasing the minimum wage.
There are going to be some eyes out on stalks in the UK Parliament.
Looks like Brexit fucked UK, time to call Farage for another crusade though I'm not sure he is against these agreements.