Conservatives condemn Labour threat to EU-Canada trade deal.

22-Nov-2016 @ 16:30

Emma McClarkin Emma McClarkin

David Campbell-Bannerman David Campbell-Bannerman

Emma McClarkin Emma McClarkin

Conservatives condemn Labour threat to EU-Canada trade deal.

Conservative MEPs have condemned a Labour attempt to delay implementation of the landmark EU-Canada trade deal.

The European Parliament will tomorrow vote on a motion calling for the deal, known as CETA, to be referred to the European Court of Justice for an opinion on its compatibility with EU treaties. If approved, the move could stop the deal being introduced for up to two years.

Six Labour MEPs are amongst the 89 members to have signed the motion and Conservatives have accused them of jeopardising an agreement that has huge economic benefits for the EU economy. According to the UK Government, Britain alone would benefit by £1.3 billion a year.

Joint International Trade spokesman Emma McClarkin said: "After the embarrassment of seeing CETA held up by socialist in the Belgian region of Wallonia, we now have the prospect of MEPs from countries which have already approved CETA throwing another spanner in the works.

"The last thing we need is for the process to be frozen for months or years while we await a legal opinion from the ECJ when the deal has already been given a clean bill of health by the parliament's own legal service."

Her fellow joint spokesman David Campbell-Bannerman said: "This would further damage the EU's credibility as a potential trading partner. Even at this late stage I appeal to Labour MEPs to think again before supporting the motion. We have just had a referendum in Britain on who has the sovereignty – the EU or the UK - and they should honour the result. It's very sad that Labour would rather we are ruled from Brussels."

Once CETA is implemented, Canada would immediately eliminate €500 million of duties on goods originating in the EU. Nearly 92 per cent of EU agriculture and food products would be exported to Canada duty-free.

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