The UK and Canada signal a rollover commerce settlement after Brexit

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: PMs Johnson and Trudeau at the 2019 G7 Summit in Biarritz

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By Kate Holton and Amran Abocar

LONDON / TORONTO (Reuters) – The UK and Canada on Saturday signed a rollover trade agreement to protect the $ 27 billion flow of goods and services between them after Brexit and promised to hold talks on a bespoke deal next year record.

As the UK prepares to complete its transition from the European Union on December 31, it has negotiated several bilateral rollover agreements to keep trade going, many of which merely replace terms that the bloc had already agreed.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took part in an online call with Canadian Justin Trudeau and his respective trade ministers to mark the deal. This paves the way for a bespoke deal that covers more areas like digital commerce, small business, the environment and women’s economic empowerment.

“Today’s deal adds £ 20 billion worth of trade and security for thousands of jobs,” said Liz Truss, the UK’s international trade minister, in a statement.

Her Canadian counterpart, Mary Ng, said the transition agreement “largely replicates” the EU agreement on tariff cuts and provisions for labor and the environment.

“We want an ambitious, comprehensive, high-level trade deal with the UK,” said Ng, signaling that Canada wanted terms similar to the EU deal.

Great Britain is Canada’s fifth largest trading partner after the USA, China, Mexico and Japan.

Johnson is trying to forge a new “global UK” that can strike alone and negotiate better trade deals than the EU. This is the benefit of his historic decision to leave the largest trading bloc in the world.

In less than two years trade deals were signed with 53 countries, accounting for £ 164 billion ($ 217.82 billion) of UK bilateral trade. Johnson’s critics point out that many are largely identical to the EU deals.

The UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement will be subject to final legal scrutiny before it is officially signed. “This is a good moment,” said Trudeau.

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