senators reject commerce settlement between the European Union and Canada | EUROtoday

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The Senate opposed, Thursday March 21, the ratification of the controversial commerce settlement between the European Union (EU) and Canada, the CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), due to a left-right alliance of circumstance. In a tense local weather, senators rejected by 211 votes to 44 the article of the invoice regarding this treaty. They then confirmed this rejection a couple of minutes later with a remaining vote.

Signed in 2016, and adopted in 2017 on the European stage, CETA was narrowly validated within the National Assembly in 2019. But the manager by no means referred the matter to the higher home, a obligatory step within the parliamentary course of. .

The debates heated up till the tip between defenders and opponents of the treaty: a number of factors of order accompanied the tip of the session to forestall speeches and speed up the tempo of the examination, restricted in time.

The centrist, Macronist and Independent teams even left the chamber earlier than the ultimate vote, going through “a sidestepped debate”in line with Senator Claude Malhuret (Horizons). “Everything was organized for a vote in opposition to! We can't even discuss anymore.”protested the leader of the centrists, Hervé Marseille (UDI), in the midst of an open crisis with the right, his historic partner in the Senate.

The leader of the Republicans (LR), Bruno Retailleau, denounced him “a clear desire to obstruct” from the presidential camp to prevent the vote from taking place in the four hours reserved for the parliamentary “niche” of communist senators, who had chosen – something extremely rare in Parliament – ​​to put this government text on the agenda.

It's a “democratic victory”, savored communist senator Fabien Gay, calling on the government to continue the parliamentary shuttle. The procedure now provides for the return of the ratification project to the National Assembly, for a new vote at risk for the government, which does not have an absolute majority.

” Unfair competitors “

The Minister for Foreign Trade, Franck Riester, vilified “a crude maneuver, an unacceptable manipulation with serious consequences for our country” And “a disastrous signal” for Canada. “It is simply a political coup that the communists, the socialists, with the support of the Republicans, are carrying out in the middle of the European election campaign to the detriment of the general interest”he added.

This rejection by the Senate is not enough in itself to denounce the agreement on a European scale, but the government's setbacks on this sensitive subject are far from over. Indeed, after their fellow senators, the communist deputies announced that they would include this text in their reserved parliamentary time – their “niche” – scheduled for May 30.

In the event of a new rejection, the equation would become very complex: either the government notifies Brussels that it cannot ratify the treaty and this leads to the end of its provisional application for all of Europe; or he procrastinates at the risk of attracting the wrath of oppositions who will cry out for democratic denial.

Reread our decryption | CETA: perceive every part concerning the controversial commerce settlement between the EU and Canada earlier than a vital vote this afternoon within the Senate

CETA – which removes, among other things, customs duties on 98% of products traded between the EU and Canada – is strongly criticized by cattle breeders. The latter fear the massive importation of Canadian beef at production costs much lower than theirs and with less strict health rules than those to which they are subject. “We say stop the unfair competition that we are subjecting to European producers by imposing ever more draconian standards, while turning a blind eye to imported products”thundered elected official Laurent Duplomb (LR).


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The socialists, for their part, insist on the “renunciation of environmental ambitions” embodied by this agreement, according to their senator Didier Marie.

Read additionally | Article reserved for our subscribers How CETA turns into an electoral argument within the European marketing campaign

The World with AFP

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