The last minute blocking of the EU-Canada trade deal (known as CETA) by the Belgian region of Wallonia epitomises why the EU project is doomed to failure.
In case you’ve missed this story – as it’s been largely ignored by the pro-EU media – after more than seven years of negotiations between EU and Canadian officials, a new trade agreement that will eliminate 98% of the trade tariffs between the two was due to be signed this week.
However in Belgium the agreement needs to be ratified by their regional parliaments and one of those regions – Wallonia – has rejected the deal, meaning that the Belgian PM can’t sign off the deal and therefore neither can the EU.
This is hugely embarrassing as the Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, is due to arrive in Brussels on Thursday to sign the pact.
So why does this highlight why the EU will ultimately fail? Well, take a look at some comments from the Parliament cited in this article;
the Flemish politician defended the right of the Belgian region to raise issues about the deal and accused the EU of treating national and regional parliaments with “intimidation and disdain” in its trade agreements.
He said, “This approach is fuel for the extreme right and if it carries on like this then people like Marine Le Pen may as well go on holiday, because the public are going to rebel.”
Correct, very many people feel the EU treats individuals and sovereign Parliaments with disdain.
Indeed this politician has unwittingly done just that, by suggesting that anyone who opposes this latest EU plan is somehow part of the extreme right.
Nonsense of course, as this article highlights how Greenpeace – hardly a far right organisation – have long campaigned against CETA;
CETA seeks to shield trade relations from basic democratic principles and parliamentary scrutiny, and undermines the application of laws that protect the public interest in order to maximise the profits of multinational corporations.
TTIP and CETA are two sides of the same coin.
Arch Europhiles Guy Verhofstadt and Peter Mandelson have waded into the debate and come up with quotes that tell you all you need to know about the ultimate aims of the EU-project;
Verhofstadt said, “What the EU should do is say that it is treating this as a sole EU competence, in other words, a matter just for the EU. That, in my opinion, would be the best solution.”
He said it was “unrealistic” to require national and regional parliaments to be given the power to authorise such deals.
Peter Mandelson commented, “EU trade policy won’t survive in a world where trade agreements have to be ‘democratised’ by every single national parliament and sub-legislature across the EU before they see the light of day.”
So both Messrs Mandelson and Verhofstadt are in agreement – this sort of thing shouldn’t be left to the democratically elected parliaments of the EU nation states but should be “a matter just for the EU”.
As usual, if the EU federalists don’t like the answer they will simply stop asking the question.