Belgium Walloons block key EU CETA trade deal with Canada
Belgium cannot sign a key EU trade deal with Canada, Prime Minister Charles Michel has said, because of objections led by its Wallonia region.
Mr Michel said talks with Wallonia and two other elected bodies had failed.
His comments appeared to dash hopes the Ceta deal could be signed on Thursday but European Council President Donald Tusk said it was still possible.
This is the EU’s most ambitious free trade deal to date but Belgium needs its regions’ approval to sign it.
Mr Michel said he had told Mr Tusk that Belgium could not sign Ceta (the acronym for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement).
The other 27 EU governments want to sign the agreement, which has been in the pipeline for seven years.
The European Commission had set Belgium a Monday deadline to make its decision on the deal.
In a tweet on Monday, Mr Tusk wrote: “Together with (Canadian) PM @JustinTrudeau, we think Thursday’s summit still possible. We encourage all parties to find a solution. There’s yet time.”
so one section of belgium isnt happy and this shuts down the whole deal?
“This is the EU’s most ambitious free trade deal to date but Belgium needs its regions’ approval to sign it.”
we await to see how they will have their arms bent..