Paul Magnette, the Walloon Prime Minister who opposed the agreement, wanted to resume talks with Canada, but the EU institutions insisted that this was impossible. EU heads of state and government hope the agreement will be signed, as the Belgian prime minister says the heads of state and government of five regional parliaments have reached an agreement. Britain would only face a procedure similar to Ceta`s, he said, if it did not reach a trade deal before the end of two years of divorce negotiations, in accordance with EU Article 50. Vanderhasselt said in an interview that Reynders had signed the agreement in the presence of CEcilia Malmstrom, EUROPEAN Trade Commissioner Mauro Petriccione, Chief Negotiator of the Commission for CETA, Olivier Nicoloff, Canadian Ambassador to Belgium. And Jean-Pierre Tanghe, president of the Belgian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce. In October 2016, the Walloon-French-speaking centre-right coalition led the revolt against the agreement. All of Europe watched Belgium after Wallonia refused to delegate to the federal government its legal power to sign the agreement to allow the federal government to approve CETA on behalf of Belgium. This measure therefore prevented the immediate conclusion of the treaty, which all other EU Member States had previously approved. On Thursday, the National Parliament approved the draft approval of the trade agreement between the European Union and Canada. The agreement is better known by the English acronym CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement). Fox, a prominent activist, said Ceta`s experience could prompt some to think twice before reaching a trade deal with the EU. “Those who put politics before prosperity may want to think twice,” he said.
Magnette said on Friday he had no doubts about whether the EU should reach an agreement with the US. The Belgian compromise came too late for an EU-Canada summit scheduled for Thursday. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was due to meet EU leaders Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels, but decided at the last minute not to fly, as Belgian politicians argued over the deal late on Wednesday evening. Belgian agreement on #CETA. All parliaments can now give their approval until midnight tomorrow. An important step for the EU and Canada The Parliament of the Southern French-speaking region of Wallonia in Belgium voted on Friday in favour of a trade agreement between the EU and Canada, ending its opposition that threatened to destroy the entire agreement. Belgium on Wednesday (September 6th) asked the European Court of Justice for its opinion on the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, which is part of a compromise with its French-speaking region of Wallonia, which had threatened to block the agreement last year.