EU-Canada summit cancelled as CETA negotiations continue

Today’s planned EU-Canada summit has been cancelled as talks in Belgium last night failed to see the country reach agreement on the CETA trade deal.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was due to be signed today by the EU and Canada, however this has now been postponed.

Belgium’s regions were split over the trade deal, with the French-speaking regions disagreeing with the deal. In order for the deal to get the green light, the EU needs the backing of all 28 Member States.

A spokesman for the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said that given that not all EU Member States are ready to sign CETA, the EU-Canada summit will not start today as planned.

“Canada remains ready to sign the agreement when Europe is ready,” he said. It appears that there is no plan in place yet to set new summit date.

On Friday last, the deal was dealt a blow when the Canadian Trade Minister, Chrystia Freeland left a meeting with the Belgian Regional Parliament claiming that the EU was not capable of coming to an agreement on the trade deal, reports said.

Then on Monday of this week, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel announced that Belgium was “not in a position to sign CETA”.

After last night’s failed negotiations on the deal in Belgium, talks are to resume today between the regional governments in order to find a solution to the impasse.