On July 23, the French National Assembly ratified the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
At the same time, in Montréal, a group of EU and Canadian politicians were celebrating this apparent victory. While there was little criticism in Canada, a big political storm was brewing in France.
I was in Paris during ratification, working with the French coalition that opposes the agreement, and it was far from a cakewalk. In mid-summer as the French were enjoying Bastille Day and their long European vacations, not all was tranquil. CETA is politically poisonous in France. All but one of the opposition parties, whether on the right or left side of the spectrum, voted against the agreement.