The Commission unexpectedly proposed a compromise on ratification of the deal last month after protests from governments and national assemblies as well as the European Parliament. Mr Demarty’s alarming statement was seen as a sign of the Commission’s fear that the ratifying bodies would not toe its line. However, four civil society groups, including Transport & Environment (T&E), said any decision to reject CETA would be in response to its detrimental provisions, such as a system of private tribunals for investors, and not the prospective trading partner.
Cécile Toubeau, better trade and regulation manager at T&E, said: “The ratification debate about the EU-Canada trade deal is not a death warrant for EU trade policy, far from it. Europe’s democratic bodies should be left to rule on whether we have a trade policy for the many and not the few, and to do so free from hyperbolic statements being made to rattle them.”