CAMPAIGNERS HAVE CONDEMNED EU POLITICAL leaders for backing the much-protested "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" (Ceta) between the EU and Canada. "This trade deal will have awful impacts on our public services, labour rights and consumer standards, so it is crucial that Liam Fox [Tory trade minister] stops thwarting democratic process and that proper scrutiny and debate of Ceta takes places for UK MPs".
But US President Donald Trump as part of his election pledge ordered the withdrawal from TPP and renegotiation of NAFTA.
"CETA will not negatively change food standards", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said during the debate.
"Columban missionaries live and serve in many countries that have free trade agreements which include investment policies".
Latvian MEP Artis Pabriks, a conservative from the EPP group who sponsored the law, said: "By adopting Ceta, we chose openness and growth and high standards over protectionism and stagnation".
The CETA deal could apply provisionally on the first day of the second month following the date both sides have notified each other that they completed all necessary internal procedures.
It took eight years to get to this point - negotiations began in 2009, and it will be at least until April 1 before the deal takes effect, an European Union press release stated.
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"Furthermore, without the weight of the European Union and its 510m consumers, the United Kingdom will be approaching any trade negotiations from a much weaker position".
Greenpeace activists kept a sinking statue of Lady Justice afloat in the river surrounding the European Parliament and displayed banners reading: "Sink CETA, not justice".
The deal was opposed by right-wing nationalist groups, including Marine Le Pen, leader of France's National Front party.
Full implementation of CETA, including investment, will only ensue after clearance by more than three dozen national and regional parliaments, by no means a certainty.
Some industries are left untouched by the deal, such as audiovisual and transport services and a select few agricultural products, including dairy, which is heavily subsidised in Canada.
The vote split came in at 408 members saying "yes", 254 "no" and 33 abstentions.
ICS Director of Policy & External Relations, Simon Bennett, says: "The vote completely ignores the real progress that has already been made by IMO - which under the Kyoto Protocol, to which E.U. Member States are signatory, has a mandate to address Carbon dioxide emissions from global shipping".