Friday, October 21, 2016

'EU is Impossible to do Deals With'- Canada Gives Up After 7 Years of Negotiations

The EU is "impossible" to do deals with, the Canadian government said as a major trade agreement appeared to be on the brink of collapse.

In a sign of how difficult Britain's Brexit negotiations will be, the Canadians walked out of talks on Friday after a major trade deal was put on hold because of a tiny region in Belgium.

The region of Wallonia, population 3.5 million, is blocking the Canada-EU trade deal, which was due to be signed next week after seven years of talks.

Under the Belgian political system, major international deals need to be signed off by regional parliaments.

Wallonian farmers are opposed to the deal because they fear that the country will be flooded with cheap agricultural imports.

It raises the prospect of a tiny region like Wallonia attempting to block whatever deal Britain emerges with during Brexit talks.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's international trade minister, said: "It's become evident for me, for Canada, that the European Union isn't capable now to have an international treaty even with a country that has very European values like Canada. And even with a country so nice, with a lot of patience like Canada."

She added: "I've worked very, very hard, but I think it's impossible. "We have decided to return home. I am very sad. It is emotional for me."

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