The UK and Canada on Saturday agreed to roll over current EU–Canada trade deal after the Brexit transitioning period, and to start next year negotiations of a more tailored agreement.
The agreement means that UK businesses can continue their £20 billion ($26.57 billion) trading of goods and services with Canada after the UK is no longer a part of the EU’s Economic and Trade Agreement.
The two countries will talk about expanding the deal in 2021, potentially into areas such as digital trade, the environment, and women’s economic empowerment, the UK’s Department for International Trade said.
“The UK is bonded by history, culture, and transatlantic trade with our friends and allies in Canada, and we want to continue to build partnerships around the world that support our shared values of freedom and democracy,” International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement, “and today marks another step towards membership of a group of like-minded nations the—Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
Acting Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry Josh Hardie said the deal is great news for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Whether it’s manufacturers still sending their products between the two counties [sic] tariff-free, or UK firms being able to sell their services into the Canadian market, this is a real milestone,” Hardie said.
As the end of the Brexit transitional period draws near, the UK is busy with copying and pasting it’s trade deals under the EU to ensure continuity.
Youmy Han, a spokesperson for Canadian International Trade Minister Mary Ng, told the CBC that the Canadian government hopes all Parliament members would support the agreement.
However, opposition MPs in the Canadian Parliament had said the House was not left with much time to ratify the deal before its extended holiday break.
Conservative MP Randy Hoback said on Friday that it “ain’t gonna happen” in time.
“You’ve missed your deadline,” Hoback told Doug Forsyth, Canada’s chief negotiator. “I cannot put this through the House of Commons in the time frame to have continuity … unless I ram it through like I did with the [North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).]”
In March, a revision of the NAFTA was rushed through Canadian Parliament, before it was suspended for five weeks due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.