The European Parliament has voted in favour of a free-trade agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA), with 408 votes for, 254 against and 33 abstentions.
The vote means large parts of the deal, such as tariff reduction, will come into provisional effect as early as next month.
But more controversial aspects, such as the Investment Court System (ICS) proposed to settle disputes between investors and national authorities, will need to be ratified by EU member states.
The TUC argues that the ICS would be bad for workers as foreign investors will be able to use it to undermine workers’ rights on the basis that they threaten profits, while workers will have no means to report or seek redress for abuses of their rights.
The deal would also be bad for public services. Provisions allowing companies greater access to public contracts would expose health, education, transport and other services to further privatisation. Foreign investors would also be able to sue governments through the ICS for changing the way public services operate.
The TUC will continue to oppose CETA and call for greater parliamentary scrutiny of the deal. Members are also encouraged to write to their MPs.
Read a blog by the TUC’s Rosa Crawford in response to the vote
Download a House of Commons library briefing paper on CETA
Recent Prospect news stories and blogs on this topic include:
Campaign groups urge legislators to vote against trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (includes a link to an open letter members can use to draw attention to concerns with their MPs and MEPs)
EU-Canada trade deal – signed, sealed but not yet delivered
Brussels trade deals threaten UK workers’ rights