Mission accomplished: Trudeau on his way to sign historic EU trade deal

A controversial and much-delayed free trade deal between the European Union and Canada will be signed in Brussels on Sunday. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau is on his way to Belgium to sign the long-delayed landmark trade deal. He will attend a summit in Brussels where a signing ceremony planned for Thursday was cancelled after a Belgian region vetoed the agreement. Mr Trudeau tweeted: “I’ve just spoken with @eucopresident Tusk - the Canada-EU Summit will be Sunday. Great news and I’m looking forward to being there.”

Mission accomplished! Just agreed with PM @JustinTrudeau to hold EU-Canada Summit this Sunday

EU council President Donald Tusk

The deal, known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement has been seven years in the making but was almost derailed last week by a regional government in Belgium. The French-speaking Belgian region of Wallonia blocked the deal demanding stronger safeguards on environmental, labour and consumer standards. The Walloon government had particular concerns that its farmers would face new competition from Canadian imports. It’s not entirely clear what concessions have been given to the Walloons but it was enough for them to agree the deal.

The CETA represents a modern and progressive deal, opening the door to new opportunities, while protecting important interests. Moreover, it has potential to set way forward for future trade deals

Robert Fico, prime minister of Slovakia