The European Commission has proposed CETA as a «mixed agreement» that must be ratified by each EU member state in addition to the European Parliament. This process could take several years. In the United Kingdom, the agreement must be submitted to Parliament for a period of 21 sitting days. The agreement can only be ratified if the 21-day deadline has passed without either parliament deciding not to ratify it. In the case of such a resolution of the House of Commons, an additional 21 days is set in place for the House of Commons to again raise objections. The government announced on 21 May 2018 that it would soon launch the formal ratification process in the UK. CETA was introduced in the House of Commons on June 13, 2018. On June 26, 2018, a debate was held in the House of Commons on CETA. The United Kingdom ratified CETA on 8 November 2018.

CETA entered into force provisionally on September 21, 2017, meaning that most of the agreement is now in force. When the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, the UK will no longer be bound by EU agreements with third countries, including CETA. Bilateral trade between Canada and the United Kingdom would no longer benefit from CETA preferences and would be based on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, including the rights of the most favoured nation (MFN) on goods until the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement came into force. On October 18, 2013, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso signed an agreement in principle. Negotiations ended on 1 August 2014. [25] The trade agreement was formally presented on September 25, 2014 by Harper and Barroso at an EU-Canada summit at the Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto. [26] The Canada Europe Roundtable for Business has served as a parallel trade process from the inception to the end of the CETA negotiations. Although it is an EU trade deal, CETA could also affect us in the UK after Brexit. Since CETA is likely to come into force before we leave the EU, the UK could be subject to some of its provisions for another 20 years (see below). The UK government has also indicated that after Brexit it will use CETA as a model for the new agreements it will have to negotiate. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, CETA could be of real importance in deciding the future of Britain`s trade relations. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: «We want a comprehensive free trade agreement, similar to Canada`s» on trade with the EU after Brexit.

Most trade agreements use a «positive list» approach to decide which services are covered; this means that only the services listed in the agreement will be liberalized. CETA is the first EU trade agreement to adopt a «negative list» approach, meaning that all services are included, unless a country has explicitly considered it excluded. The problem with this approach is that it leads to a creeping liberalisation of public services, as negotiators do not contain sufficiently watertight exclusions and cannot predict what new services might be created in the future. With respect to workers` rights, CETA contains a chapter that says, «The parties recognize that it is inappropriate to promote trade or investment by weakening or reducing the levels of protection afforded to their labour rights and labour standards.» However, this part of the contract is relatively short, does not appear to introduce new obligations for the parties to improve wage or labour standards and, unlike the other chapters of these contracts, the trade and labour services do not have effective enforcement mechanisms, so that if the rights set are violated by one of the parties , the other party cannot impose financial or trade sanctions.