On January 18, 2018, the European Commission launched a call for proposals on  regulatory cooperation activities envisaged by the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”).   (See our previous post for further details on the provisional application of CETA). The Commission is seeking views from all interested parties on the scope of issues for potential regulatory cooperation in order to prepare for the first meeting of the RCF, tentatively scheduled to take place in mid-2018.
Continue Reading European Commission’s Call for Proposals on Regulatory Cooperation under CETA

On May 22, 2017, the Council officially authorized the opening of Article 50 negotiations with the UK. It appointed the Commission as the EU’s negotiator and adopted a first set of Negotiating Directives outlining the EU’s priorities for the first phase of negotiations. These directives are in line with, and complement, the (more political) Article 50 Guidelines of the European Council, adopted by the EU 27 Heads of State and Government on April 29, 2017. This last step in a chain of authorization procedures means that the European Commission, led by Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, now has all the clearances required empowering it to start Brexit talks forthwith.
Continue Reading Adoption of European Commission Mandate – Brexit Negotiations Can Now Start

On May 16, 2017, the EU Court of Justice released its long-awaited opinion on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (“FTA” ) (“the Agreement”) (full text here). Back in July 2015, after the EU and Singapore completed trade negotiations, the European Commission sought clarity on its authority to conclude complex deals.

The following questions submitted by the Commission have now been answered:Continue Reading ECJ Issues Opinion on Singapore FTA: Answers to Guide Brexit Trade Negotiators

It took eight years to get to this point, but the dramatic rollercoaster of Canada-EU free trade negotiations will soon start to bear fruit. On May 11, 2017, the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-30, the CETA Implementation Act. Royal Assent was received on May 16. Earlier, on February 15, 2017, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”). This means that the path will very soon be clear for most of the agreement to be applied on a provisional basis, pending institution of relevant Canadian regulations.
Continue Reading Opening Doors to European and Canadian Companies: Imminent Provisional Application of CETA

In recent times, the EU and its trade partners have cranked up momentum on the establishment of a multilateral investment court, with the aim of replacing ad hoc arbitration provisions in investor-state dispute settlement (“ISDS”) for the protection of investors. In our previous post, we noted that this has caused some debate in the Canada-EU trade deal, where this provision led to objections by numerous member states, as well as last minute blocking of Belgium’s approval to the trade accord.
Continue Reading Where Else for Investors to Sue? Multinational Companies Weigh in on a New Investment Court

The UK Government intends to trigger Article 50 TEU by the end of March. This effectively means that the UK will therefore exit the EU by March 2019,  unless there is an extension.

In a speech delivered on January 17, Prime Minister (“PM”) May explained that the UK would not seek to be part of the EU’s customs union, but would instead look to establish a “comprehensive” trade agreement with the EU. In tandem, she noted that the UK would no longer accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.Continue Reading Towards Brexit: The Trade Implications