“This process was a train accident,” said Daniel Blaikie, a trade critic for the NDP, who led the fight for assurances that next time things would work differently. Mary Ng, Minister for Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, and Elizabeth Truss, British Secretary of State for International Trade, today announced the successful conclusion of talks on the Canada-UK trade agreement, an interim agreement that will enter into force when Canada and the United Kingdom negotiate a comprehensive free trade agreement. This agreement also brings us closer to membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a high-standard agreement in 11 dynamic Pacific countries. Membership would strengthen market access for our businesses, help make us a global hub for technology and services trade, and strengthen the global consensus for rules-based free trade. When the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, the UK will no longer be bound by EU agreements with third countries, including CETA. Bilateral trade between Canada and the United Kingdom would no longer benefit from CETA preferences and would be based on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, including the rights of the most favoured nation (MFN) on goods until the Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement came into force. “By omitting a sunset clause, it appears that this minority government has entered into a permanent trade agreement without stakeholder consultation or parliamentary participation. Negotiations for a successor agreement are an opportunity to get the process in order. They should involve Parliament and public opinion at an early stage and often.
The ATC process should not set a precedent for the way these operations are carried out. On January 1, the current rules governing trade between Canada and the United Kingdom will expire when Brexit is accepted and the UK government assumes full responsibility for its trade policy, regardless of the European Union. In the video interview, which was also attended by International Trade Minister Liz Truss and her counterpart Mary Ng, Mr. Trudeau said, “We can now continue to work on a tailored agreement, a comprehensive agreement in the years to come, that will truly maximize our trade opportunities and make things better for all.” In the absence of an agreement with the EU, trade preferences between the UK and the EU would disappear and trade between the UK and the EU would be determined by the international obligations of each party. Mr. Trudeau welcomed the continuity agreement and suggested that negotiations for a new comprehensive trade agreement with the United Kingdom would take several years. It would also be a good idea to consider whether a migration agent, customs broker, forwarder or logistics service provider should seek legal advice and/or hire a migration officer, forwarder or logistics service provider to support preparations for all eventualities, including a non-agreement. “It is now essential that Boris Johnson and Liz Truss show the same urgency when it comes to securing the other 14 outstanding continuity agreements with countries such as Mexico, Ghana and Singapore, where total BRITISH trade of $60 billion is still under threat and time is over,” she added. Regardless of the outcome of the negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU, whether the transition period ends without an agreement between the EU and the UK or an agreement covering only part of the current trade relationship, it is likely that at the end of the transition period there will be immediate changes to the TRADE and investment rules between the UK and the EU.
“I know that it is important for the British government to reverse and demonstrate free trade agreements. Canada is really simple. That`s why we`re here. We would like to do that, so I have great hope that it will be ready, but it is as far as the UK.