Chrystia Freeland
Chrystia Freeland, Canada's international trade minister Getty

A major trade summit between the EU and Canada has been cancelled after a Belgian region continues to block the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

The parties, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were expected to meet today (27 October) in Brussels to sign the deal.

But the ceremony was called off as negotiations with the socialist-led Wallonia region continue.

"Given that not all EU member states are ready to sign the CETA, the EU-Canada summit will not start today as planned," a spokesman for European Council President Donald Tusk told IBTimes UK.

"Canada remains ready to sign the agreement when Europe is ready."

Wallonia is hoping win concessions over farming and welfare standards, despite all 28 nations of the EU backing the trade agreement.

Talks broke down last Friday when Canada's international trade minister walked out, claiming the EU was "incapable" of finalising CETA.

"We spent today here working very hard with the Wallon and the Commission to respond to the concerns expressed by the Wallons," Chrystia Freeland said.

"Over the past several months, we have worked very hard with the European Commission and member states, including Germany, France, Austria, Bulgaria and Romania.

"Canada has worked, and I personally worked very hard, but it is now evident to me, evident to Canada, that the EU is incapable of reaching an agreement – even with a country with European values such as Canada, even with a country as nice and as a patient as Canada.

"Canada is disappointed and I personally am disappointed, but I think it's impossible. We are returning home. At least I will see my three children tomorrow at our home."

The negotiations got back on track after an intervention from European Parliament President Martin Schulz, a former leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

The troubles around the trade pact have prompted comparisons to the UK's split with the EU, with Theresa May expected to start negotiations before March 2017.