The Conservative politician who oversaw free trade talks between Canada and the European Union says Britain’s Brexit plan jeopardizes the agreement by upsetting a “fine balance” that took years to negotiate.
Former Conservative trade minister Ed Fast also tells The Canadian Press he thinks Liberal Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland is being overly optimistic that the deal can come into force next year, though he hopes she succeeds.
The European Commission says it is treating the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement as a “mixed” agreement, which means that each of the EU’s 28 countries must ratify the deal.
But the EU and Canada say only the European Parliament’s approval is needed for 90% of the deal to take effect next year under what is known as provisional application.
Freeland says she’s been assured today after a meeting with her EU counterpart, Cecilia Malmstrom, that the deal still has support across a wide spectrum of European politicians.
The Liberal minister says she is continuing to lobby hard for the agreement at weekend G20 meetings in China, and during more travels in Europe in the coming week.
— The Canadian Press