17 February 2017
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Europe and Canada was voted in by the EU parliament this week, but it has still not been debated in Westminster.
The controversial trade deal, which has been heavily criticised for making it difficult to roll-back privatisation in public services and for giving companies the ability to sue national governments for any loss of profit that occurs due to changes in policy, will be provisionally enforced as soon as March 01.
It will not come into effect in the UK until it is ratified in Westminster, but so far it has not even had a debate in the House of Commons. Trade Minister Liam Fox last year requested that the requirement for parliamentary scrutiny of the trade deal be waived so that he may sign it on behalf of the UK by deadline.
Global Justice Now has further warned that due to its divisive nature, opposition parties may be reluctant to push for a debate pre-ratification, which may lead the deal – which is predicted to have a deleterious effect on workers’ rights – to be brought into force without any debate at all.
The campaign group explained: “States will have different processes to ratify. In the UK, unsurprisingly perhaps, will have one of the less democratic ways of ratification. Like secondary legislation, CETA will be ‘laid before parliament’ and if no objection raised, will go through automatically. It is doubtful the Labour party will want to risk another split by calling for a vote on CETA – a vote they are bound to lose.”
Global Justice Now is campaigning for people worried about CETA to email their MP to call for parliamentary scrutiny of CETA. Click here to find out more about how to support the campaign.