Saturday 21 November 2020 2:29 pm

UK signs rollover trade deal with Canada ahead of post-Brexit talks

Britain today secured a continuity trade deal with Canada, ensuring the two countries’ £20bn trading relationship will be maintained after Brexit.

The government said it has secured an “agreement in principle” to roll over current EU-Canada trading arrangements when the transition period ends on 31 December.

Read more: UK signs rollover trade deal with Canada ahead of post-Brexit talks

This will pave the way for negotiations on a new trade deal, which will kick off next year.

“This is a fantastic agreement for Britain which secures transatlantic trade with one of our closest allies,” Johnson said in a statement.

“British businesses export everything from electric cars to sparkling wine to Canada, and today’s deal will ensure that trade goes from strength to strength.

“Our negotiators have been working flat out to secure trade deals for the UK, and from as early next year we have agreed to start work on a new, bespoke trade deal with Canada that will go even further in meeting the needs of our economy.”

The agreement will give certainty to UK businesses exporting goods and services to Canada worth £11.4bn.

Johnson has promised to deliver improved trade deals to help establish a “global Britain” following Brexit.

While today’s rollover agreement only maintains current trading conditions, the trade department vowed to secure a “more ambitious” deal next year, which could include areas like digital trade, the environment and women’s economic empowerment.

The government said it has now agreed trade deals with 53 countries, accounting for £164bn of bilateral UK trade.

“Securing continued access to one of our top trading partners, will be warmly welcomed by our business communities,” said Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.

“However, the single most critical trade agreement our business communities need is one with the European Union. 

“Firms expect the two sides to agree a deal. We urge government to redouble their efforts to secure this as soon as possible to give businesses the clarity they need.” 

Read more: Ex-Australia PM Tony Abbott pushes for UK-Australia trade deal to be closed this year

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “There was always a danger that the end of the transition period would mean losing wider international market access that we enjoyed as part of EU membership.

“So it’s really encouraging to see new trade deals secured with trading partners like Canada, long since seen as a crucial market by small firms.”