Dutch vote threatens to kill Canada trade deal | World | The Times & The Sunday Times

Bruno Waterfield, Brussels

The European Union faces another referendum as Dutch campaigners close in on the number of petition signatures needed to force a popular vote on a trade deal with Canada.

Direct democracy activists have collected two thirds of the 300,000 names required to force a referendum on a EU-Canada trade pact that is regarded with widespread suspicion in Europe and the Netherlands. A vote against could scupper the trade deal.

The latest manifestation of public mistrust will almost certainly trigger a vote in early 2018, meaning that the EU faces 18 months of political tests, starting with Italy’s constitutional referendum next month and followed by elections next year in the Netherlands, France and Germany. The EU’s comprehensive economic and trade agreement (Ceta), was provisionally signed nine…

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