Canada and the United Kingdom launch negotiations on a free trade agreement

On Thursday, Canada and the United Kingdom announced the start of negotiations on a post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement, effective January 1, 2021.

“I am pleased to announce that Canada and the United Kingdom are officially launching negotiations on a new free trade agreement,” said Marie Ng, Canadian Trade Minister in the presence of her British counterpart Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

The Canadian minister said the negotiations could last two years.

“In 2021, the UK was Canada’s third largest trading partner in goods and services, with billions of dollars flowing between our two countries,” she said.

For her part, Annemarie Trevelyan said she wanted to “move forward faster than ever to stimulate trade in areas such as digital, financial, legal and research and development services.”

Since the United Kingdom left the European Union, London has been seeking to boost its international trade, but it still has to wait for a free trade agreement with Washington.

The two countries were able to settle their dispute over steel and aluminum on Tuesday, but the Biden administration appears in no hurry to resume negotiations on a free trade agreement.

London has so far signed agreements with non-EU European countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), but also with countries as far afield as Japan, Israel and most recently Australia and New Zealand.

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