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EU, Canada set to finalise free trade pact

EU, Canada set to finalise free trade pact
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EU and Canadian officials are to mark the end of five years of free trade negotiations this week.

They will meet in Ottawa on Friday to put the finishing touches to a trade deal that will scrap tariffs between the bloc and Canada.

Yet it still has to pass through all 28 national parliaments before MEPs get the final say.

It should be effective in 2016.

But there are dissenting voices inside the parliament already.

Yannick Jadot, a French Green MEP, said the deal would allow “businesses to attack nation states when public decisions don’t go in their favour and put their profits at risk.”

For example, a US firm is suing the Quebec government for 250 million dollars in damages because it banned fracking for shale gas,” Jadot told euronews.

Firms could challenge what they perceive to be protectionist rules.

But there is nine months of work ahead for EU lawyers before parliamentarians can vote on it.

Marietje Schaake, a Dutch liberal MEP, said there would be “some fine-tuning” to be done on the text.

“I don’t see a likely opening up of the negotiations again. It has taken years, these negotiations are very complex, and we have to see the final text before we can vote here in the European Parliament,” she said.

EU-Canada trade stood at 58 billion euros last year. Negotiators predict the deal could boost that number by 20 percent.