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Changes to CETA text under legal scrubbing do not set dangerous precedent, says David Martin MEP

March 3, 2016 - Foreign Affairs & Trade

David Martin MEP (S&D, United Kingdom), Trade Spokesman for the S&D Group in the European Parliament and also the rapporteur for the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, joined Joanna Sopinska to discuss the EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement, known as CETA, shortly after the two trading partners took another step towards its ratification by concluding the legal scrubbing on 29th February.

After nearly four months of talks, Canada  agreed to make the Investment Court System (ICS) part of its 2014 free trade agreement with the EU. Martin welcomed this decision as a “massive step forward” and a big win for the S&D Group, which has been strongly pushing for a full version of the ICS to be included in CETA. However, some MEPs suggest that such far-reaching changes under the legal scrubbing exercise, which is only supposed to introduce minor legal or linguistic corrections to the text, sets a dangerous precedent for negotiations with other trade partners. Martin rejected this claim, arguing that it shows that the institutions “are able to respond to public concerns.”

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