Can Canada benefit from Brexit?

Newly appointed CETA envoy Pierre Pettigrew shares a positive outlook for the trade deal

A new special envoy has been appointed for CETA, and he brings with him confidence in the deal’s success.

While many may fear that June’s Brexit vote has jeopardized the ratification of the trade deal with the EU, former Chretien Cabinet Minister and new CETA envoy Pierre Pettigrew doesn’t see things that way.

“I think Canada represents some hope for the European Union to demonstrate that it can move forward beyond Brexit,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg Canada. “I think Brexit is an opportunity for us to actually progress rapidly.”

As for the possibility of other Eurozone members following suit, Mr. Pettigrew is of the opinion that they’ll go down a different path.

“Europeans will make their own decisions, but I think that it’s been a shock, the Brexit vote. It’s surprised a lot of people, and I think it’ll make sure that every individual elections [sic], people will think very clearly about this element and not play around with it and create some other surprise.”

He acknowledged that the EU has problems, and Europeans know that. But he believes that it’s a coalition they are very attached to, and that they see a partnership with Canada as a way forward to a better union.

When asked whether he sees anything derailing or delaying CETA, Mr. Pettigrew replied:

“I don’t think so… it takes time, and as I say, it will take a lot of determination on the part of our government to make sure that we push all the right buttons at the same time. It’ll take, as I say, both heavy lifting and some sophistication in the way we move the message, but I’m quite confident that we will get where we want to be – that is, a signature at the end of October, a ratification early 2017, with early implementation.”

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