michaelgeist.ca
CETA Talks Break Down: "It is Evident that the EU Is Incapable of Reaching an Agreement" - Michael Geist
International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has walked out of talks aimed at addressing Belgian opposition to the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, stating: I have personally worked very hard, but it is now evident to me, evident to Canada, that the European Union is incapable of reaching an agreement - even with a country with European values such as Canada, even with a country as nice and as patient as Canada. Canada is disappointed and I personally am disappointed, but I think it's impossible. We are returning home. Leaving aside the odd reference to how nice Canada is, this is remarkable language that lays bare the obvious frustration and disappointment for the government which prioritized the CETA agreement above all others. The prospect of the deal falling apart has been evident for months. I wrote in July that the agreement was in more trouble than the Canadian government would admit, noting that opposition from any national or regional government could kill CETA altogether. Canadian officials downplayed the risk, but it was obvious that CETA faced stiff opposition that would not be easy to overcome.