De Croo says refusing to enter into CETA would be “a truly historic error”
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    De Croo says refusing to enter into CETA would be “a truly historic error”

    © Belga
    De Croo entreats that common sense should prevail over Wallonia and CETA.
    © Belga

    Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, is extremely disappointed having learned in Amman, which he is visiting with Queen Mathilde, of Belgium’s “No” to the signature of the free trade treaty between the European Union and Canada. Fearing a scenario “which may turn out to be much worse than Brexit”, he considers that a lack of success in concluding the CETA deal would be “a historic error” which may lead to “the fall of Europe”.

    Mr De Croo is all the more disappointed since Belgium “has always been fundamentally at the heart of the construction of Europe and has always argued for more European integration.”

    Moreover, the country has been “…one of the member states which has benefited the most from the EU.”

    The Deputy Prime Minister went on, “We must understand what we are in the process of doing.”

    He further said, “This means that the Union will no longer conduct discussions on behalf of member states, since each agreement may be jeopardised by a single region.”

    Mr De Croo concluded by mentioning that much like the FEB (Federation of Belgian Businesses), Belgium is an open economy “which is 70% dependent” upon trade abroad.

    The employers federation, which considers “Wallonia’s ‘’No’” as “irresponsible”, stresses that 570,000 jobs, or one out of six, was directly dependent upon trade with our non-EU partners.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times