Belgians reach deal on EU-Canada free trade agreement

Belgium's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders arrives at a meeting on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a planned EU-Canada free trade agreement, at the Lambermont Residence in Brussels, Belgium, October 27, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian politicians reached a deal on Thursday to break a deadlock over a planned EU-Canada free trade agreement that all 27 other EU governments support but the French-speaking south of Belgium had rejected.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel told reporters that the heads of Belgium’s regions and linguistic communities had produced a common text to allay concerns about agricultural imports and a contentious dispute settlement system.

Any deal agreed in Belgium will still have to be put to the other 27 EU members for approval before CETA itself could be signed.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, writing by Philip Blenkinsop