Wallonia kills Canada-EU trade deal; “EU is ‘impossible’ to do deals with”
WHAT a bunch of deadbeat jokers we’re shrugging off. The much-trumpeted Canada-EU trade deal is dead. The Canadians have walked out. The reason is that Wallonia (a bit of Belgium) has said said no.
The region of Wallonia, population 3.5 million, is blocking the Canada-EU trade deal, which was due to be signed next week after seven years of talks. Under the Belgian political system, major international deals need to be signed off by regional parliaments. Wallonian farmers are opposed to the deal because they fear that the country will be flooded with cheap agricultural imports […]
Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s international trade minister, said: “It’s become evident for me, for Canada, that the European Union isn’t capable now to have an international treaty even with a country that has very European values like Canada. And even with a country so nice, with a lot of patience like Canada.”
She added: “I’ve worked very, very hard, but I think it’s impossible. “We have decided to return home. I am very sad. It is emotional for me.”
Seven years! Seven years, and then a few dozen farmers kill it. This is the EU all over, why it can’t do trade deals, why it’s so sclerotic. On another day it’ll be Greek shippers, or Spanish olive oil producers, or Italian (whatever Italians do) killing deals. It’s not 28 nations which have to approve trade deals. It’s thousands of provinces, regions, trade unions, employers federations and other special interests across an EU which is set up to deal with a 1950s world.
To Canada, I say that we’re not only old friends. We share blood and history and common interests. 1812 and Vimy Ridge will matter always. We sired you. We’re family, and our Anglosphere family stretches across the globe. We’ll happily trade, anything you like. Forget the Continentals. They’re already dead economically, their fate inexorably sealed. Look south and to us again.
In other comedy news: the EU’s lead negotiator has demanded that Brexit negotiations be conducted in French. On this Trafalgar Day, we have many reminders of what a bunch of deadbeat jokers they are.