UK agrees interim commerce cope with Canada amid Brexit uncertainty

The UK has agreed to an interim commerce cope with Canada, giving itself one other buffer for post-Brexit financial dealings in 2021 — because it continues to pursue offers with the US and European Union.

Described by the British authorities as a “stopgap,” the deal introduced Saturday rolls over current commerce agreements between the U.Okay. and Canada, and opens the door to negotiations in 2021 on a particular UK-Canada commerce pact.


The federal government mentioned it provides certainty for British companies and locks in about $27 billion in commerce between the international locations. The deal consists of zero tariffs on automotive exports, and tariff-free commerce on items together with beef, fish and seafood. It should cowl about 1.5 % of the U.Okay.’s complete commerce in items and providers.

Britain imports merchandise reminiscent of salmon and maple syrup from the Commonwealth nation that additionally acknowledges Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.

On this Dec. 4, 2019 picture, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, welcomes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau throughout official arrivals for a NATO leaders assembly at The Grove lodge and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. (AP Picture/Francisco Seco, File)

“This can be a incredible settlement for Britain which secures transatlantic commerce with one in every of our closest allies. British companies export all the things from electrical automobiles to glowing wine to Canada, and immediately’s deal will make sure that commerce goes from power to power,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned in a press release.

“Our negotiators have been working flat out to safe commerce offers for the UK, and from as early subsequent 12 months we now have agreed to begin work on a brand new, bespoke commerce cope with Canada that may go even additional in assembly the wants of our economic system,” he mentioned.

It’s one in every of 53 international locations the U.Okay. has signed agreements with forward of the finalization of its departure from the E.U. on the finish of the 12 months — at which level it’s going to not be lined by the umbrella of offers cast by the union. Brits voted to go away the bloc in 2016 and formally left it in January — resulting in a transition interval till the tip of the 12 months.

It has but to strike a cope with the E.U., though negotiations are ongoing. If no deal is agreed to, then the international locations will transfer into World Commerce Group phrases.

The U.Okay. has been working with the U.S. to thrash out an important commerce deal, however that deal might show much less sure than it appeared below a Trump administration. The president was very receptive to the thought of such a deal, given his pro-Brexit stance.

President-elect Joe Biden has warned there won’t be such a deal if Britain is seen to undermine the 1998 Good Friday peace settlement as a part of its personal rules governing post-Brexit commerce on the border between Eire and Northern Eire.

“We will’t enable the Good Friday Settlement that introduced peace to Northern Eire to change into a casualty of Brexit,” Biden tweeted in September. “Any commerce deal between the U.S. and U.Okay. have to be contingent upon respect for the Settlement and stopping the return of a tough border. Interval.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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