Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

Thank you for contacting me about the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada

I am sorry but in common with many MPs I rarely sign EDMs as they are very expensive to administer and rarely progress to become legislation.

I appreciate your concerns on this issue. As it stands, CETA is expected to be a "mixed" agreement, covering areas of both EU and Member State competence. In this case, it will be subject to agreement by each EU Member State, the EU Council and the European Parliament. In practice EU trade agreements which contain a mixture of EU and Member State competence are agreed by consensus, this means each Member State's Parliament must agree before the treaty can fully come into force.

With regards to provisional application, the text of the treaty provides for it to be provisionally applied (in whole or in part) once the parties have notified each other that the relevant procedures have been completed. In terms of the European Union, the council is able to agree provisional application before the approval of the European parliament. In practice however, this does not tend to happen in the case of important trade agreements until consent has been granted by the European parliament. During the last 5 years, a practice has developed not to provisionally apply politically important trade agreements before the European parliament has had the opportunity to give its consent. This was the case in a number of agreements such as the Free Trade Agreement with Korea, the multiparty trade agreement with Colombia and Peru and the EU-Central America association agreement.

Following the UK's vote to leave the European Union, the UK will need to begin the process of leaving the EU. Once the UK ceases to be an EU member state, we will no longer be a CETA party. CETA does not offer any mechanism for the UK to join as a non-EU member state and contains no provisions for accession by new parties, other than new EU member states.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.