Given the economic importance and political sensitivity of the financial services sector in London, this could change in an agreement with UK citizens in Canada and Europe, with only one option left: reject CETA before it can be ratified. The European Union (EU) is a strategic partner for Canada. Canada-EU relations are based on shared values, a long history of close cooperation and a strong relationship between citizens. Our relations with the EU are the oldest formal relations that the EU has with an industrialised country dating back to 1959. Through the Canada-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement and the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), we are working more closely than ever across the entire political spectrum, including foreign policy, global peace and security policy, trade and investment and development cooperation. Protests against CETA and TTIP focus on the protection system for foreign companies. Critics say its provision for arbitration tribunals that decide disputes with states can be hijacked by multinationals to dictate public order, such as environmental standards. Negotiations ended in August 2014. All 28 EU member states have approved the final text of CETA, with Belgium being the last country to give its approval.  Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, travelled to Brussels on October 30, 2016 to sign on behalf of Canada.  The European Parliament approved the agreement on 15 February 2017.  The agreement is subject to ratification by the EU and national lawmakers.   It could only come into force if, at Belgium`s request, the European Court of Justice had not issued a negative opinion on the dispute settlement mechanism.
 In its opinion, the European Court of Justice found that the dispute settlement mechanism was in line with EU law.  Until it enters into formal force, the essential parts apply on an interim basis from 21 September 2017.  Proponents of CETA point out that the agreement will boost trade between the EU and Canada, creating new jobs, facilitating trade by removing tariffs, physical controls and other levies, facilitating mutual recognition of diplomas and resolving investment disputes by creating a new judicial system.   Opponents argue that CETA would weaken the rights of European consumers, including high European food safety standards and criticise it as a blessing for large corporations and multinationals, while risking net losses, unemployment and environmental damage that affect citizens.   The agreement also includes a controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, which never lets critics sue national governments for billions of dollars if they believe government policy has had a negative effect on their business.  A February 2017 survey by the Angus Reid Institute found that 55 per cent of Canadians support CETA, while only 10 per cent oppose IT. However, support has decreased compared to the 2014 survey.  On the other hand, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has a 44 per cent approval rate among Canadians in February 2017.  Unlike Canada, the agreement has sparked protests in a number of European countries. Asked about the Canadian model, a spokesperson for TheCityUK, a financial services lobby group, said the negotiations are different. "What is unique about the future debate on the relationship between the UK and the EU is that it starts with a set of rules already in place. The EU`s financial services rules have been written at the table with the UK and often hold the pen, as it is the largest financial centre in Europe," he said.