Recognizing the need for security during the transition period, Canada agreed that the United Kingdom should remain a party to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and all other agreements between Canada and the EU during the transition period. These include multilateral agreements between Canada and the EU. The EU and Canada want CETA to contribute to the mutual strengthening of economic growth, social development and environmental protection. CETA therefore includes EU and Canadian obligations under international agreements on workers` rights and environmental and climate protection. The EU is still taking the risk of negotiating CETA with Canada. The legal validity of the provinces` commitment to implementing an agreement is unclear. What kind of legal action would the EU have if one or more provinces refused to implement parts of the agreement? Since I am not a lawyer, I cannot answer this question, but I am sure that EU negotiators are trying to include as many safeguards as possible in the agreement (particularly in the dispute settlement mechanism) to deal with this risk. These guarantees are just as important to Canada. The last thing Canada wants is for the EU to impose ad hoc trade and investment sanctions because a province does not implement cetA. What does it mean that such remedial measures would only apply to the non-cooperative province? Ultimately, the passage of a province could end the entire agreement. Such uncertainties would be very bad for the economy. If CETA`s objective is to increase trade and investment, it would be best to eliminate as much uncertainty as possible upstream, as the economy hates the legal vacuum.
Otherwise, to paraphrase W.P. Kinsella, even if we build it, they can`t come. The other important condition for the success of the negotiations is that the agreement does not affect the competitive position of Canadian companies in the U.S. market. This means that any attempt to harmonize laws, rules, regulations and procedures cannot be at the expense of Canada`s economic relations with the United States. It is a “red line” for Canada. If the Europeans think that CETA is a springboard to a broader transatlantic agreement with the United States, one might consider that this condition is not very restrictive. But it may be naïve to believe that Europeans will be willing to compromise in the short term on CETA in order to increase the chances of a long-term agreement with the Americans. In any event, a transatlantic agreement involving the United States is unlikely to be achievable until 2021, after the 2020 presidential elections.
In CETA, the EU and Canada reaffirm their commitment to sustainable development and agree that continued trade and new investment should strengthen, not weaken, environmental protection and workers` rights. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We want a comprehensive free trade agreement, similar to Canada`s” on trade with the EU after Brexit. In mid-January 2010, Canada sent a delegation of about 100 people to Brussels to participate in the second round of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU). Later in April, it was Ottawa`s turn to host the third round of negotiations. If signed, CETA would be the second largest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by Canada after free trade with the United States. However, unlike the free trade agreements with our southern neighbour, CETA has generated little public debate and debate. Perhaps everyone is waiting for the conclusion of the negotiations before deciding on the agreement.