Latest post of the previous page:Canada's trade deal with EU a model for Brexit? Not quite, insiders say
.”It took hundreds of skilled negotiators, dozens of videoconferences and seemingly endless days in Brussels to produce the 1,600-page text. Some seven years after Canada and the EU began negotiating a trade deal, the future of the agreement remains shrouded in doubt.
But that hasn’t stopped the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or Ceta, as Canada’s deal with the EU is known, from being held up as the preferred model for Britain to follow in the wake of the Brexit vote.
David Davis, the new minister for Brexit, has called it the “perfect starting point for our discussions with the commission”. Earlier this year, Boris Johnson cited Canada and its trade deal as an example for the UK to follow, adding: “It’s a very, very bright future I see.”
Those close to the negotiations and others who have followed the development of the agreement paint a more nuanced picture. They point to the years of complex negotiations demanded by the deal and the persistent uncertainty that continues to dog its implementation – and they question whether the agreement’s framework is far-reaching enough to allow the UK to replicate its current level of access to the single market.
“How they think Ceta is the panacea, I’m confused,” said one senior Canadian government official who was deeply involved with the negotiations. “We still don’t get complete access to the EU market the way the Brits currently have as a member state. So I don’t understand this looking towards Ceta as the answer to Brexit when they will be taking a 43-year step backwards in terms of the current access they have to the European Union