38 Degrees | Merci Wallonia!

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Dear Paul,

The dodgy trade deal known as CETA has been blocked! [1] The deal was due to be signed this Thursday. [2] But yesterday, the parliament of Wallonia, part of Belgium, refused to sign. Instead, they sided with millions of us across Europe – a huge, people-powered roadblock.

It’s a plucky move to stand up for democracy in the face of corporate and EU Goliaths. The Walloons are blocking CETA because the deal could allow banned chemicals into our food and let big business sue our government in secret courts. [3] Here in the UK, the worst bits of CETA would still apply for 20 years after we leave the EU. [4]

The Walloons are the only parliament listening to their people on CETA. And they’re under HUGE pressure to crack. So let’s send them a big people-powered message of support, showing them they’re not alone against CETA. It will help give them the strength to hold firm as pressure is piled on them to sign this dodgy deal.

Here’s what the thank you message says (it will be translated into French):

We are UK citizens. We want to say a big thank you to the citizens of Wallonia, for having blocked CETA – the dangerous Canada-EU trade deal. Millions of people all across Europe support what you’re doing.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-06-50-33

If we reach 100,000 signatures by tomorrow, we’ll deliver the message straight to the Embassy, and buy thank you messages in local Walloon newspapers.

Please can you sign the thank you letter to Wallonia? Click here to add your name with one click

CETA contains all the worst bits of its copycat cousin, the TTIP trade deal. The deal would undermine our environmental standards, our food standards, and local identities – even the ‘protected’ Cornish pasty is not safe from CETA! The deal would allow Canadian corporations to make our famous dishes, with banned ingredients, and sell them as ‘locally produced’ goods. [5]

Here’s what Belgium’s Walloon regional president had to say about blocking the deal:

‘We are not against a treaty with Canada. But we won’t have one that jeopardizes social and environmental standards and the protection of public services’ [6]

38 Degrees members voted in our thousands to say that after Brexit, Britain should negotiate trade deals that put people, not big business, first. [7] CETA would lock the UK into one of the very worst kind of trade deals. So we owe the Walloons a thank you!

Thanks for being involved,

Bex, David, Luke, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] BBC News: Belgium Walloons block key EU Ceta trade deal with Canada:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-37749236

[2] ITV News: Canada and EU on verge of signing trade deal after emergency talks:
http://www.itv.com/news/2016-10-22/ceta-trade-deal-emergency-talks-eu-canada/

[3] Here’s six reasons why CETA is almost a carbon copy of TTIP, another dangerous trade deal:

1. It contains many of the same dodgy terms, like allowing corporations to sue our governments if our policies and regulations dare interfere with their profits.
2. 80% of American companies have an arm in Canada, so this deal is TTIP by stealth. Those companies could start lawsuits against our government at the taxpayers’ expense.
3. Experts are warning CETA threatens regulations that protect our environment, food production, and access to affordable medicines.
4. Like TTIP, it’s designed to encourage privatisation wherever possible – in our healthcare, energy, water and transport.
5. Worst of all, if CETA passes easily it basically lays out a clearer path for TTIP to pass too.
6. The EU has quietly asked Canada to rework some of the thorniest bits of CETA – such as corporate courts – because officials are worried that public opposition is growing.

This is a good explanation of the story on CETA so far, and what the worst bits of the deal are.
War on Want: What is CETA?
http://waronwant.org/what-ceta

Here’s another good guide to what’s in CETA:
Global Justice Now: What is CETA?
http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/what-ceta

[4] Politics: The Canadian trade deal which will let in TTIP by the back door:
http://www.politics.co.uk/comment-analysis/2016/09/01/canadian-trade-deal-will-let-in-ttip-by-the-back-door

Clientearth Law Firm: Joint analysis of CETA’s Investment Court System (ICS) – Prioritising Private Investment over Public Interest:
http://documents.clientearth.org/wp-content/uploads/library/2016-06-27-analysis-of-ceta-investment-court-system-with-annex-coll-en.pdf

Global Justice Now: Expert opinion concludes that CETA could bind UK for 20 years after Brexit:
http://www.globaljustice.org.uk/news/2016/jul/4/eu-accused-trying-push-through-toxic-trade-deal-ahead-brexit

[5] War on Want: CETA puts your food safety at risk:
http://media.waronwant.org/sites/default/files/summary-ceta-food-safety-english.pdf

[6] RT: Belgium’s Wallonia rejects ‘undemocratic’ EU ultimatum on CETA:
https://www.rt.com/business/363920-eu-ultimatum-belgium-ceta/

[7] 38 Degrees: DIY Brexit results, trade section:
http://diybrexit.38degrees.org.uk/

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