Canada EU trade pact on track, says EU ambassador

European Union's ambassador to Canada says that means 90 per cent of the deal will take effect early next year

OTTAWA – Europe’s top envoy to Canada says all 28-member countries approve of the mammoth free trade deal with Canada in spite of rising anti-trade sentiments and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

Marie-Anne Coninsx, the European Union’s ambassador to Canada, tells The Canadian Press that the European Commission’s decision Tuesday to proceed with the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement as a “mixed” agreement won’t derail the timeline that will see the vast majority of the deal come into force early next year.

The mixed designation means that each of the EU’s countries must ratify the deal, but the European Parliament’s approval will lead to “provisional application” of the pact.

Coninsx says that means 90 per cent of deal will take effect early next year, and Britain for the time being will be remain bound by the treaty while it enters into its long negotiation to leave the EU.

Canada’s trade minister says the “lion’s share” of the benefits of the mammoth Canada-EU trade agreement will begin flowing by the time the deal is provisionally applied.

Chrystia Freeland tells The Canadian Press she’ll be lobbying for CETA when she meets some of her key European counterparts at a meeting of G20 trade ministers in China later this week.

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