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Canada Pledges Swift Trade Deal With UK After Brexit

Canada wants to secure a free trade agreement that takes effect the day after Brexit, using its deal with the European Union as a template.

We will see
Prime Minister Trudeau has expressed interest in being “front of the queue” for a Brexit trade deal  (photo: CTV News)
Written by Marcus LerouxThe Times

The assurance from the country’s ambassador to London is a boon for Liam Fox’s international trade department, which is seeking to replicate 39 EU trade agreements with more than 50 countries. All of those will require at least some renegotiation and trade lawyers had warned that some countries would try to extract extra concessions in view of Britain having less negotiating leverage than the EU.

Janice Charette, Canada’s High Commissioner in London, said: “We will be interested in positioning Canada such that the day after Brexit the same preferential access is in place as the day before.”

Dr Fox had already raised the possibility of using the EU-Canada deal as a foundation for a quick agreement. While the idea was warmly received by his Canadian counterpart, the comments from the high commissioner go much further in indicating that Canada will not seek extra concessions to reflect Britain’s reduced negotiating clout.

The Canadian deal had been at least seven years in the making and was nearly scuppered at the last minute by a single region of Belgium. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, is considered to be the most far-reaching deal yet agreed by the EU. Ms Charette also warned against failing to reach a settlement with the EU, saying: “No deal is a terrible idea.

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