English has agreed a provisional trade deal with Canada, providing another buffer for post-Brexit economic deals in 2021 – as it continues to pursue deals with the United States and the European Union.
Described by the British government as “provisional,” the deal announced on Saturday the existing trade agreement between Britain and Canada, and opens the door to negotiations in 2021 on certain UK-Canada trade pacts.
The government says it provides certainty for British businesses and locks in an estimated $ 27 billion in trade between countries. The deal includes zero tariffs on auto exports, and tariff-free trade on goods including beef, fish and seafood. This will cover about 1.5 per cent of the total UK trade in goods and services.
Britain imports products such as salmon and maple syrup from a Commonwealth country which also recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as head of state.
“This is a fantastic deal for Britain securing trans-Atlantic trade with one of our closest allies. British businesses export everything from electric cars to sparkling wine to Canada, and today’s agreement will ensure that trade gets stronger, ”Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
“Our negotiators have been working hard to secure a trade deal for the UK, and from the start of next year we have agreed to start working on a new bespoke trade deal with Canada that will go further in meeting our economic needs,” he said.
It is one of 53 countries that have signed an agreement with Britain prior to finalizing its departure from the EU at the end of the year – at which point Britain is no longer covered by the umbrella agreement drawn up by the union. The British voted to leave the bloc in 2016 and officially left in January – leading to a transition period until the end of the year.
It has yet to reach an agreement with the EU, although negotiations are ongoing. If no agreement is agreed upon, the countries will turn to World Trade Organization requirements.
Britain has been working with the US to negotiate a major trade deal, but the deal may prove less certain than it has seen under the Trump administration. The president is very receptive to the idea of such a deal, given his pro-Brexit stance.
President-elect Joe Biden has warned that there will be no such deal if Britain is seen as undermining the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement as part of its own rules governing post-Brexit trade on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“We cannot let the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland fall victim to Brexit,” Biden tweeted in September. “Any trade agreement between the US and Britain must depend on respecting the Treaty and preventing the return of tough borders. Point.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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