CETA has sparked angry protests across Europe [Image: AFP].

CETA has sparked angry protests across Europe [Image: AFP].

From the BBC’s reports yesterday, one would have thought the corporates had won and the Walloons had caved in.

The Corporation’s version of the CETA story was that Wallonia, in Belgium, had finally agreed to the CETA trade deal, under pressure from the other 27 EU member states (including the UK).

But it seems – and I put it no more strongly than that, because this information comes from the Express – that the agreement is conditional on the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement system, under which multinational corporations can sue nation states if legislation affects their profits, being referred to the International Court of Justice for a ruling on its legality.

Such a ruling could affect any future international trade deal – so This Blog welcomes it.

If it happens.

[The EU’s] shambolic trade deal with Canada may not go ahead after all despite crowing eurocrats insisting they have broken an impasse with the Belgian government.

The crumbling agreement will only be applied provisionally and will face a make-or-break challenge to its legality under EU law as part of a deal brokered with the tiny region of Wallonia.

The shock admission was buried deep in a statement released by the Belgian government today, in which ministers in Brussels revealed they are finally ready to ratify the signing of the agreement.

But in return for the support of the regional parliament of Wallonia, which had been blocking the deal, they have agreed to refer its most controversial component to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a ruling.

It is possible that the Investor Dispute Settlement System (ISDS), which allows corporations to sue elected governments for policies that affect their profits, will be ruled incompatible with the EU treaties.

Source: CETA: Belgium to refer EU-Canada trade deal to European Court of Justice | World | News | Daily Express

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