The UK has agreed with Canada to maintain the trading conditions it has through its European Union membership, starting talks on a broader deal that would pave the way for even closer links with Britain’s 12th-biggest trading partner.
According to the UK’s Department for International Trade, the two countries will begin negotiations next year to expand their commercial agreements to cover digital trade, the environment and women’s economic empowerment.
The agreement could provide a major boost to UK Prime Minister Johnson in his efforts to set a new course for Britain as a global trading nation outside the EU. Without the new accord, the UK and Canada would face tariffs on trade from Jan. 1, when the Brexit transition period ends.
Bnnbloomberg.ca reports that today’s agreement covers bilateral trade worth about 20 billion pounds (US$27 billion) in 2019, the trade office said. The UK is Canada’s third-largest export market after the U.S. and China. Last year, Canada was the UK’s 15th-largest export market.