European Union lawmakers split on carbon reform ahead of vote

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The European Parliament has voted in favour of a controversial trade deal between the EU and Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to address the legislature on Thursday - a first for a Canadian leader - and to address top business leaders a day later in Germany.

The agreement would eliminate about 98 per cent of the tariffs on both sides of the deal.

The UK's interests have been poorly defended in the negotiations of CETA, and, as you know, worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox bypassed the UK parliament to sign the UK on to the deal at EU Council level.

"The benefits are estimated to start at around £1.3bn a year for the United Kingdom alone", said David Campbell Bannerman, British MEP and representative of the European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Because CETA was declared a mixed agreement by the European Commission in July 2016, it will also need to be ratified by national and regional parliaments.

The decision from European Union parliament came as a boon for the Canadian economy as its biggest trade partner and next door neighbour the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and asked to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

But politicians and European Union nations are divided over how best to fix the complex system, with industry and environment groups lobbying hard on opposing sides over dozens of amendments to the European Union executive's proposal.

It will also allow Canadian branches of large USA corporations to sue individual members of the EU.

SWA global affairs director Sarah Dickson said the ratification of CETA would give a boost to scotch in an export market now worth around £77 million per annum.

The European Parliament has approved a landmark free trade deal with Canada. "Our distillers now look forward to quick provisional implementation of the deal, so that the advantages can accrue as quickly as possible".

Lead policymakers spoke in defence of a compromise deal reached between the key parties in December, warning that any moves to pick it apart risked delaying the long-awaited reforms, which are due to come into effect in 2021.

The deal also includes the creation of an independent Investment Court System (ICS), which would publicly arbitrate on investment disputes, but have no right to adjudicate on matters of domestic policy.