Sunday, 16 October 2016

German court rejects challenge to CETA trade deal

Reported by Pinset Masons news service on 14Oct2016, Germany's Constitutional Court has given the go-ahead for the German government to approve a proposed trade deal between the EU and Canada, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

This is a good example of how to exercise sovereignty within the European Union, i.e. “The government should sign the agreement, but only on the condition that Germany can leave CETA again if forced to do so by a later German court judgment, the Court said.”

It’s particularly illuminating that the German court reserves the legal right to participate in defending German legal interests, playing its part within a wider mercantilist policy choice of the German state(s).  And yet, the demand came from pro-democracy groups, who - to coin a phrase - want to “keep control”.

The British could learn from this.  The challenge is which particular lesson to learn.  Is it a demonstration of how to impose democratic control as a final decision?  Or is it a demonstration of how to enable government to trample over individuals’ freedoms?

As for the deal itself, there is much work required by all of its signatories to ratify the treaty and to activate it.  One sub-parliament of Belgium has already rejected the treaty. reported more of the mechanics of the CETA deal on 06Jul2016.  It sounds like a partial extension of the Single Market to encompass Canada using the same selective access rights core to the Single Market as it stands today.  So, like the Single Market, it isn’t a free trade agreement, but it is more like selective-state-sponsored trade agreement, whereby trade can be cancelled on a whim by any government.

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