April 3, 2018: The European Court of Justice ruled in March that Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) between two EU member states, which allows corporations to sue governments for damages over changes in domestic law, has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law, and is therefore incompatible with EU law.
EU-Australia Free Trade Agreement
On 16 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued the long-awaited landmark Opinion 2/15 on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). According to the CJEU, the agreement falls under the EU’s powers, but not entirely. EU Member States’ national and regional parliaments and the European Parliament must ratify some important provisions regarding investors, particularly ISDS.
October 31, 2016: The European Union and Canada signed the CETA free trade agreement on Sunday after agreement was reached with the Belgian region of Wallonia, which had opposed the deal and effectively blocked Belgium from signing it. The EU requires all 28 member states to support the treaty before it comes into force.
20 September 2016: Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was in London recently talking up a post-brexit free trade deal with the UK.
23 February 2016: The Australian Government has begun discussions with the European Union towards an EU-Australia free trade agreement.
At this stage negotiations are not expected to start until next year. Since Brexit, there are also plans for a possible separate FTA with Britain.