Our plea to MEPs: Now is the time… time to say #CETANOW

We don’t claim to be experts on all the aspects of the EU – Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently before the Members of the European Parliament.  We are well aware that there are some who are vehemently opposed, thus all the delaying tactics to postpone the vote to 2017 hoping to putt at risk the provisional application of the agreement.  We respect their opinion, but we disagree with them.

We are confident that the Parliament will make a good decision on CETA in January 2017, having taken all points of view into account that are relevant to trade policy and not the ones that are not part of it or cannot be solve by it.  Indeed, trade agreements cannot replace agreements on environment or labour standards but they can support them.  However, in these times when the debate has become so superficial and when only opponents to CETA - and more widely opponents to trade agreements - are visible, we want to reiterate our point of view, one we believe is shared by a vast majority of largely ‘silent’ supporters of free and sustainable trade, supporters of “Trade for All”. 

Many of the provisions set out in the agreement would directly and positively impact the European economy, leading to investment and jobs here and in Canada.  We think it is a good deal and in our particular case, the huge increase in export sales our sector has witnessed over the past 10 years, partially as a result of previous EU trade deals, pushes us to be very strong supporters of CETA.  This is why we hope for a positive vote in Parliament in favour of the agreement.

Last but not least, I would like to invite all those who are in favour of CETA to support our #addtheW campaign for #CETANOW.  Click here to see how you can lend your support.  A number of people in Brussels will remember having seen some of our “Mounties” walking around Schuman on 27 October… well, stay tuned, they might come back!.  Please watch the space on www.cetanow.eu or on @ceta_now.

Paul Skehan, Director General*

*in his capacity as permanent representative of Skehan sprl