Reflections

A Preview of the Brexit Battle

Oct 28, 2016 | 00:52 GMT
A Preview of the Brexit Battle
Opposition that has complicated the ratification of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement demonstrates how, in the European Union, a relatively small group's concerns can hold up a deal affecting 500 million of its citizens.
(JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Besides the complexity inherent in negotiating wide-ranging trade deals, the process of developing the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was complicated by its ratification process. CETA is the most comprehensive free trade agreement that the European Union has ever negotiated. The deal submitted for ratification was the result of almost a decade of wrangling by Canadian and European officials. Failure to ratify it would raise questions about the European Union's ability to finalize similar deals, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States. The snag in the CETA process elevates the tricky issue of the balance of power within the European Union. ...

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