Walloon leader Paul Magnette has become the pin-up hero of the anti-globalist movement, but he his protest has largely been heroic failure
by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Belgium’s French-speaking Walloons have finally backed down on the EU’s long-awaited trade deal with Canada after a week of marathon talks, agreeing to accept the terms with a declaratory protocol that changes nothing.
Charles Michel, the Belgian prime minister, declared that an internal accord on the EU-Canada pact – known as Ceta – was a triumph for parliamentary democracy, but admitted later that it “does not change a single comma under international law”.
The deal is a litmus test of whether the EU is institutionally capable of reaching complex trade treaties as member states and constitutional regions each demand their own say.