GMB: CETA trade deal sets bad precedent post-Brexit

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

©iStock/ronniechua
©iStock/ronniechua
A British trade union has attacked the CETA trade deal between Canada and Europe which comes into force later this week (21 September) adding it sets a bad precedent post-Brexit.

GMB said the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) means the UK will lose control of its ability to decide which public services are outsourced and which are not and foreign multinational companies will be able to influence UK laws on food safety and the environment.

Bert Schouwenburg, GMB International officer, said CETA amounts to a free trade deal with the US via the back door given that 85% of US corporations have subsidiaries in Canada.

“The fact it will be enforced without being voted on in Parliament is simply not acceptable and is a bad precedent for trade deals negotiated post-Brexit.

“We should not be party to any deals that will tie us in for 20 years given that we are going to leave the EU and that CETA is opposed by trade unions on both sides of the Atlantic.”

GMB said CETA will expose farmers to competitive pressures - increase corporate control over seeds; obstruct buy-local policies and threaten high food processing and production standards.

Kathleen Walkershaw, GMB European officer, said the worry is CETA will be the blue print for future post-Brexit deals.

“The sad reality is that the UK will be held to investment obligations for up to 20 years, and furthermore the UK government, in disarray generally with Brexit negotiations, will become increasingly tempted to use these off the peg existing agreements as its framework for new trade arrangements post Brexit – so the worst of all worlds.

“UK trade policy needs to go urgently back to the drawing board and start putting people before profit.”

Related topics: Food safety, Brexit, Policy

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